Colonial Life employees and sales team members came together during an April conference to support Colonial Life’s local educational partner, Lexington School District Two.
Attendees filled 300 backpacks with notebook paper, composition notebooks, folders, pencils, crayons, glue sticks, colored pencils, erasers and a book—250 in English and 50 in Spanish.
The backpacks will be offered to students based on an identified critical need at the beginning of the school year at Riverbank Elementary and Cayce Elementary schools.
“Some families experience financial hardships that make it difficult to provide basic needs – particularly school supplies,” said Mary Koon, a school counselor at Riverbank Elementary in West Columbia. “With the help of Colonial Life’s generous donation, we can remove stress students experience when they lack supplies and help them to instead focus on being prepared and successful in school.”
The school district encompasses 15 elementary, middle and high schools in Cayce, West Columbia, Springdale, Pine Ridge and South Congaree. It serves more than 9,000 students—more than 70% of whom are from low-income families.
Herbert A. Wood Elementary School in West Columbia has placed the backpacks in the Ready to Learn Closet, a service that Communities in Schools of the Midlands provides to the school.
“Throughout the school year, teachers direct students who need school supplies, clothing items or hygiene items to the Ready to Learn Closet,” said Sally Brown, site coordinator at Herbert A. Wood. “Colonial Life’s donation allows us to restock some much-needed items.”
Public education is the primary focus of Colonial Life’s outreach efforts, with a commitment to supporting organizations that grow strong individuals and school leaders. During the 2017-2018 school year, Colonial Life awarded $20,000 to Lexington Two teachers through the Colonial Life Strong Schools Grants program. Another $20,000 will be awarded through the program in the coming school year.
“This project provided an opportunity for Colonial Life’s nationwide sales organization to give back while supporting Colonial Life’s home office community,” said Marie McGehee, community relations manager at Colonial Life.