St. Augustine, Fla. – July 26, 2022 – Investing in Kids (INK!) has launched the Tools 4 Schools classroom supply drive once again to support St. Johns County teachers and students through the 2022-2023 school year. Community and business collection drives are scheduled across the County coinciding with the Florida back-to-school tax-free holiday period from Monday, July 25 through Sunday, August 7 to prepare for the start of the school year on Wednesday, August 10.
Tools 4 Schools is a community-based classroom supply initiative that seeks to reduce the out-of-pocket expense for educators and ensure that both teachers and students have the tools they need to be successful in the classroom. To prepare for the school year, INK! and community partners host an annual countywide school supply drive in the summertime. Individuals, organizations, and businesses are encouraged to participate by becoming sponsors for drop-off locations, donating supplies, and volunteering to help sort and distribute materials to teachers.
According to Donna Lueders, INK! Executive Director, on average, local teachers spend more than $800 of their own money purchasing school supplies for students and the classroom. The purpose of Tools 4 Schools is to minimize expenses for educators with a goal of serving approximately 3,000 teachers and 48,000 students countywide.
Lueders added that at the end of the 2021-2022 school year, INK!’s Tools 4 School program reported record numbers of supplies delivered to teachers in every public school in St. Johns County. INK! filled and delivered nearly 1,400 teacher-requested orders of school supplies and materials with a total a value of $84,891.
The Tools 4 Schools program is made possible by annual donations from supporters including Publix, Staples, and The Bailey Group as well as local businesses that host collection drives including Ameris Bank, Carlisle Interconnect Technologies, Community First Credit Union, Northrop Grumman, Solar Stik, SouthState Bank, the St. Johns County Tax Collector and VyStar Credit Union.
For over a decade, the Tools 4 Schools program has operated out of The Bailey Group Resource Depot, a permanent location donated by The Baily Group which provides storage for the supplies collected during the Tools 4 Schools summer drives and throughout the year. During the school year, teachers can order supplies online through the INK! website and orders are filled and delivered by INK! to their schools. For more information on Tools 4 Schools or to coordinate a community drive effort, contact Jim Wheeler at (904) 547-7121 or email ja***********@st*****.us. For a complete list of businesses and community drive locations visit www.ink-stjohns.org/toolsdrive22/.
1. Host a drive or a collection location for community members to drop off supplies
2. Shop our AmazonSmile Charity List here
3. Drop off new school supplies at these local St. Johns County businesses:
4. Donate online here and we’ll purchase the tools our teachers and students need