MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Parents spent an average of $100 per student on school supplies last year. Many families in one Minneapolis neighborhood can’t afford that.
This week, you have a chance to help make sure kids have the tools they need when heading into the classroom this fall.READ MORE: Attorney: Police Confirm Brian Laundrie’s Remains Were Found In Florida Nature Reserve
“All the supplies they need you’re looking at $40-$60,” Jason Schommer, a senior board member at Ace in the City, said.
One neighborhood in south Minneapolis, Powderhorn Park, has too many families who can’t afford supplies and it is affecting literacy rates, according to Ace in the City.
“Seventy percent of kids in this neighborhood aren’t reading at their desired reading level — their grade level,” Schommer said.
Ace is the City has been reaching out to these students through summer programs and now is on a mission to get each one school supplies along with a backpack.READ MORE: 'No Brainer': Football League Opts To Move Games Out Of Minneapolis After Shooting Left Spectator In Critical Condition
“It’s one of those basic accessories that kids need,” Schommer said.
A Minneapolis company is stepping into help. Now through July 31, Calhoun Companies will match donations up to $1,500, every penny going to make sure students in Powderhorn Park are ready for school.
“You want to help as many kids get a good start because that’s the world of tomorrow that we’re all going to be living in,” Andy Kocemba, with Calhoun Companies, said.
The first year Ace in the City did this drive, they were able to buy 75 backpacks. Four years later, their goal this year is 300 backpacks. If you would like to make a donation, the back to school drive ends this Friday. To donate, visit here.MORE NEWS: Good Samaritan Hit By His Own Car Gets His Vehicle Back
Ace in the City does charge a $10-$15 fee for the families who get a backpack. Organizers say that helps create a sense of ownership of the backpack and it also gives the parents a sense of dignity that they were able to purchase it outright and provide for their kids in some way.