Stuff the Backpack: Helping give students the tools they need

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) – For many families, school supply costs add up quickly. 

That’s why NBC4 needs your help to Stuff the Backpack!

“We don’t want the students worrying about coming to school unprepared,” said teacher Merele Wilder. “The only thing we want them to worry about is coming with their brain and coming with a willing attitude.”

Stuff the Backpack is a donation drive with a goal of giving all 52,000 students in the Columbus City School District the supplies they need for a successful school year. 

“Pencils, pens, rulers, paper… The small things that sometimes we take for granted, that’s absolutely what some of our kids simply don’t have,” said principal India Wilson.

Wilder will start her 27th year teaching in Columbus City Schools this fall. She’s had students miss class because they didn’t feel prepared to learn without the right supplies.

“I’ll say, ‘Where have you been? You didn’t come on the first day. You didn’t come the first couple of days.’ And the parents will say, ‘Well, we didn’t have everything we need.’ I’ll say, ‘But, I needed them here,'” said Wilder. “We don’t want parents to feel as though, I can’t send my child to school if they don’t have school supplies.”

Like many teachers Wilder spends hundreds of her own dollars each year to make sure her students are prepared and ready to learn.

“A lot of them are anxious about, I don’t have a pencil to use today,” she said. “I don’t have my crayons. I don’t have my markers. I don’t have my scissors ready to work on what I need to work on, so then they get nervous, ‘Am I going to be able to do everything that I need to do to be successful in school?’”

But, all of us can help make sure each child has a great school year.

“If you bought a pencil, a backpack filled with items, paper, a box of Kleenex, you helped a student be successful,” said Wilson. “You helped them on their journey.”

You can donate online to Stuff the Backpack

You can also drop off supplies at NBC4 or any PrimaryOne Health or CME Federal Credit Union location:

NBC4 Studios 
3165 Olentangy River Road
Columbus, OH 43202

PrimaryOne Health 
1180 East Main Street
Columbus, Ohio 43205-1975

CME Downtown Branch 
365 S. 4th St.
Columbus, OH 43215

PrimaryOne Health 
2300 West Broad Street
Columbus, Ohio 43204-3783

CME Clintonville Branch 
4545 N. High St.
Columbus, OH 43214

PrimaryOne Health 
3781 South High Street
Columbus, Ohio 43207-1930

CME Hilliard Branch 
4099 Trueman Blvd.
Hilliard, OH 43026

PrimaryOne Health 
1500 East 17th Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43219-1093

CME Pickerington Branch 
1017 Refugee Rd.
Pickerington, OH 43147

PrimaryOne Health 
3433 Agler Road, Suite 2800
Columbus, Ohio 43219-1347

CME Westerville Branch 
428 S. State St.
Westerville, OH 43081

PrimaryOne Health 
1791 Alum Creek Drive, Suite 100
Columbus, Ohio 43207

PrimaryOne Health 
240 Parsons Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43215

PrimaryOne Health 
1905 Parsons Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43207

NBC4 will also host a donation day to collect new backpacks and school supplies on Saturday, August 4 from 8am to 12pm at 3165 Olentangy River Road in Columbus.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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