To the editor:
For thousands of local families facing financial hardship, purchasing school supplies is often a lower priority than basic necessities like food and shelter. And though items like paper and pencils are not critical to survival, they are required tools for learning.
Since the recession began, the number of students living below the poverty line has steadily increased. Loss of employment and other factors have left an estimated 56,000 students in Lee County in risk of needing supplies for the upcoming school year. These children need education to help break the cycle of poverty and they need supplies in order to receive an education.
To help fill the need, Fifth Third Bank has partnered with us The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools for its fourth annual "Back to School" Supply Drive. Until Aug. 1, your much-appreciated donations will be accepted at any Fifth Third financial center in Lee County. We are grateful for this partnership and encourage the community to participate in this important cause. Your donation can help a child to escape poverty and reach their goals.
The most urgently needed items include: composition books, glue sticks, crayons, index cards, pens, pencils, pink erasers, paper (both lined and plain printer paper), two-pocket folders, dry erase markers, spiral notebooks, binders and rulers. To donate, stop by any local Fifth Third banking center (you can visit www.53.com for locations).
Each donation is a building block for education. Please join us by contributing to the "Back to School" Supply Drive and help ensure each student gets an opportunity to learn.
President and CEO
The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools