Let’s rally to provide tools for student success - United Way Alberta Capital Region

Let’s rally to provide tools for student success

July 9, 2021

School supplies at local school

Gearing Up for Tools for School
Summer is finally here, and students are now on a well-deserved break after a very challenging school year. Summer is also when our community rallies together to make sure that students in need have the school supplies to succeed when the school year starts again.

Tools for School is a program that United Way of the Alberta Capital Region has been operating for 20 years. It provides backpacks filled with necessary school supplies to kids in need in our community from kindergarten to Grade 12.

From Entwistle to Vegreville, from Bon Accord to Warburg, and everywhere in between, kids receive the supplies they need to start the school year right.

“Tools for School is an essential service at our school. The pandemic has really highlighted its impact,” revealed Erin Wadup, an All in for Youth Success Coach at Highlands School.

“I had a student this year who was not engaging in any online classes and was feeling isolated after being online most of the year. When we reached out, we became aware that he did not even have paper or a pencil for his assignments. After that call, I made four different drop-offs of donated school supplies. As a result, he has been able to continue his education and now we talk regularly. It all started with loose-leaf paper.”


Student puts donated supplies in backpack
“It all started with loose-leaf paper.”

Erin Wadup, All in for Youth Success Coach at Highlands School

Demand for School Supplies has Increased
We know that students who have the tools they need can focus on learning. We believe that every child deserves this opportunity because this leads to better education and life outcomes. Over the past three years, the program has built over 40,000 backpacks for kids in need.

In some areas of the city, the need for backpacks filled with supplies is as high as eight in ten students.

“This year, we have a lot of families that don’t have work at all because of COVID. Because of this we have seen an increase in demand,” shared Andrea Cooper, Principal at Homesteader School.

Students with school supplies hug in front of school sign that reads “Always be a little kinder than necessary“
Donate School Supplies to Do Local Good
To help meet this year’s demand, we ask the community to donate what supplies they can. Staples will collect school supplies at its Edmonton and surrounding area locations from August 1 to September 15, 2021.

Product drives can also be hosted with friends, families, or workplaces to collect needed supplies and brought to United Way’s InKind Exchange (IKE) location for distribution.

When we all do a little local good, we can create lasting change for our community’s students.

More Information on how to support Tools for School