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VIP KIDS + FAMILY

Story by Liesel Schmidt Photography Courtesy of United Way of the Greater Clarksville Region & Clarksville-Montgomery County School System Research shows that more than 10,000 students in the ClarksvilleMontgomery County School System fall into the classification of being disadvantaged when it comes to economic status. To put it into percentages, that’s about 30 percent of the 35,500-plus students in the local area. Percentages are a skill we learn in school—right along with reading, writing, history, and science. And while we might not realize that the economic disadvantages that children in our communities face at home could ever impact their level of achievement in school, the simple fact remains that having the means to buy everything a student needs for their education can mean all the difference in setting them up for a brighter, more successful future. Even the simplest things matter—the basic school supplies, the books, the funds to pay for extras like equipment and field trips. It all adds up, like the most elementary of addition problems. And it IS a problem, one that shouldn’t go unaddressed, which is why United Way of the Greater Clarksville Region recently held Prepped for Success, a massive, community-wide initiative whose sole mission was to provide students with the school supplies they will need for the 2019-2020 school year and give them an equal opportunity for achieving the same successes as peers who do not come from economically depressed homes. 44 • VIP Clarksville Magazine | August 2019

Partnering with the Clarksville-Montgomery County Education Foundation and CMCSS, United Way organized the event on June 21st and 22nd, working alongside community volunteers to pack bags of school supplies to distribute to students in need. In addition, local residents, churches, and businesses went above and beyond to donate needed supplies or raised funds needed for those supplies, ensuring that every student is packed and ready to go for the year ahead and that they don’t have to worry that money will keep them from making the grade. “We want every student to start the school year off on the same sheet of music as their peers. In order to meet such a huge need, we knew we had to partner with the community,” says Anthony Johnson, Director of Community Relations and Continuous Improvement for Clarksville-Montgomery County Schools. Kicking off the event on the 21st, volunteers met at CMCSS Central Services South and dug into a hearty breakfast before starting their two-hour packing shifts. Every pencil, notebook, calculator, and ruler was one more gift to give, one more tool to provide the students receiving the filled bags with hope and confidence. It seems small in our minds, but there are many students who lack even these. “Some students don’t even have a pencil to do their homework,” says James O’Bryant, Executive Director of the Clarksville-Montgomery County Education Foundation. “It’s hard to imagine not having a pencil at home; but for some of our students, that is their reality.”

Profile for VIP Clarksville Magazine

VIP Clarksville Magazine | August 2019  

Health. Beauty. Wellness. Adventure. Featuring local medical profiles, why The American Red Cross needs you, one of our new, favorite Nashvi...

VIP Clarksville Magazine | August 2019  

Health. Beauty. Wellness. Adventure. Featuring local medical profiles, why The American Red Cross needs you, one of our new, favorite Nashvi...