TROY — Showing up at a new school can be daunting, especially when a student is in elementary school. Having the right supplies for taking notes, doing homework and completing assignments on time helps any child do better and feel great about themselves. Knowing that helping a child do well in school lays the groundwork for a successful future, Troy Rotarians and the faculty at Heywood Elementary School have worked together to provide key school supplies to students in need. Now in its 6th year, the backpack program enables new students at Heywood Elementary School, 260 South Ridge Avenue in Troy, be prepared both in and out of the classroom. “Having fully stocked backpacks on hand for new students allows the kids to focus on learning each day during the school year instead of worrying about having a pencil or notebook,” stated Maurice Sadler, principal of Heywood.
For the backpack program, Heywood teachers and faculty identify new students at the school who would benefit from having the required supplies. Rotarian Patrick Titterington and his committee review the requests and then gather the items, paid for with funds from the Troy Rotary Foundation.
“Our goal each year is to provide at least two fully stocked backpacks per grade at the school,” explained Titterington. “We fill each one with pencils, erasers, paper, spiral notebooks, tissue, crayons or colored pencils, protractors and glue sticks for kids at Heywood.”
All the backpacks are assembled before they are delivered to the school for distribution by the teachers. This is one of several projects Troy Rotarians support in partnership with Heywood staff and faculty. Another one is the “Winter Wear” project to supply coats, hats, scarves and gloves to children at the school who may need warm clothing. In addition, volunteers read Dr. Seuss books to the classes in celebration of the birthday of the famous author each March 2nd as part of the National Education Association’s “Read Across America” initiative.
“It’s been a terrific partnership as the team at Heywood works with Rotarians to help kids do well in school,” observed Sadler.
Troy Rotarians and the Troy Rotary Foundation support several community projects annually. During the 2015-16 Rotary year, over $23,000 in scholarships and community aid was distributed from the fund, including support for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library program, Rotary’s annual Shoe Project, academic and community service scholarships, and sponsorships to summer camps at Brukner Nature Center and WACO Air Museum. The Troy Rotary Club is a member-involved, goal-oriented service club focused on socio/economic issues that have an impact both locally and internationally. Follow their activities on Facebook at Troy Rotary Club. To learn more about Rotary and membership, visit www.troyohiorotary.org.