STUFF THE BUS
Throughout the course of a school day, many different staff members interact with students and sometimes families in a number of different ways.
One of the things that many of these people noticed, whether it was school employees, or outside people is the fact that there are many children in Dodge County who are in need of school supplies.
That's why in 2007, a group of these people started a group to help do something about it.
The program Ready Set Learn of Dodge County has a mission of helping to empower kids in need by collecting school supplies donations and being able to get them in the hands of kids who need them.
In order to help get supplies, there was a donation drive last month, known as the “Stuff the Bus” event which is a way for people to be able to shop at a local store and then donate the supplies.
This year they once again were able to collect a lot of supplies at the Dollar General in Kasson.
“This community is always very kind and generous,” said Tanya Young, program coordinator for Ready Set Learn.
Over the years the program has continued to expand, and last year they officially became a non profit organization. In 2017, they also created a board for the first time.
The way the program works, school counselors, and other staff members let the board know what supplies are needed, and they line up the school supplies with kids that need them.
Young explained that having staff members involved with the prorgam is important because they are the eyes and ears and are able to help identify what is needed in each school.
“It has been very successful,” Young said.
Last year, the program was able to serve 303 children.
Although many of the people on the board and involved with the program work in the schools, one board member who has been involved with the program instead works for the social services organization Minnesota Prairie Alliance.
She explained that seeing the look on kids faces when they get a new backpack, sometimes for the first time makes the hard work that goes into the program worth it.
“When kids come to pick out their own backpack the joy on their faces of having a new backpack is enough of a motivator to want to do it again,” said Skogen.
Every year they also have a distribution need for families in need to pick up school supplies for their kids and for their children to pick out things like their own backpacks.
This year’s distribution night is scheduled for Aug. 12-13 at St. John’s Lutheran, in Kasson from 5-7 p.m.
For more information about the program, contact the coordinator Tanya Young at 316-390-5368.