FillTheBusSmallWith the start of each school year, we hear the stories of teachers struggling to work with children who lack many of the basic supplies for classroom education. Often, teachers use their own money to purchase supplies for children in need.

United Way’s Fill The Bus drives help collect donated school supplies so more teachers and children can focus on what really matters – teaching and learning.

United Way partners in Fayette, Lauderdale and Tipton counties in Tennessee are teaming up for a great day of collecting school supplies! Fill the Bus receiving stations will be at the parking lots of Walmart and Walmart Super Center locations in Oakland TN, Ripley TN and Covington TN on Saturday, August 2 from 8:00 a.m until 4:00 p.m.

“Fill The Bus is a big part of United Way’s work to help improve education. Education is one of the Mid-South’s top priorities, and this is a great way for people to get engaged.  Volunteers will be on-site to receive donations of pencils, pens, crayons, paper, binders, backpacks, and other school supplies,” said Rosa Potts, Area-Wide Manager for United Way of the Mid-South. “We’re thrilled with the enthusiasm and support we’ve received from each of the counties.”

United Way’s focus on education comes with a special commitment to address kindergarten readiness, third grade reading and making sure high school graduates are ready for college and/or careers. The links between early learning and future lifelong success are very clear.

“We know when children enter kindergarten, it’s important that some learning has already taken place,” said Dave Skorupa, VP of Communications for United Way. “By the time children have completed third grade, they’re making the important transition from learning to read, to reading to learn. Children entering fourth grade who are behind in reading skills are in danger of struggling through each grade, and are four times less likely to complete high school by age 19. This often leads to dropping out of school, not receiving job training and lives filled with missed employment opportunities.”