College students volunteer to collect school supplies for kids, teachers

"It makes me feel like I'm actually doing something for the community."

Justin Udo
August 14, 2018 - 8:43 pm
Students from the Community College of Philadelphia collected school supplies to give to local elementary students and their teachers.

Justin Udo | KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Students from the Community College of Philadelphia volunteered their time, effort and resources to help hundreds of kids go back to school with the supplies they need.

The book bag drive and collection for school supplies was spearheaded by students at CCP.

"This year, we collected about 350 backpacks," said Ari Benchman-Bank, CCP assistant English professor and adviser for the International Student Association, the group that is filling up and giving the bags to the kindergarten through eighth-graders at Spring Garden School.

"They wanted to really give back to the community, and we discussed what's the best way to go about it," he said. "They wanted to focus on one of the global goals, which is quality education for all boys and girls."

On Tuesday, Daniel Daley joined his peers in filling up the book bags with pencils, erasers, notepads and more.

"I thought it would be nice to come and volunteer for the kids and help them get prepared for school," he said. "It makes me feel like I'm actually doing something for the community."

"I know how important school is for me," said fellow volunteer Tyrese Dorvil, "so I thought being ready for school is one of the most important."

David Thomas, CCP associate vice president and dean, said events and interactions like this one are an important part of their mission.

"We realized it was extremely important that you had all the right materials so you can be successful in your classes," he explained.

Not only are the volunteers stuffing bags for students, they are making sure teachers are ready for back to school, too.

"A lot of the times teachers, they don't have the supplies that they need in the classroom," added Benchman-Bank. "It could just be chalk markers for a whiteboard, little things, so we know how hard it is for them, too."

The International Student Association gathered more backpacks and school supplies than they expected to, so they are shipping the extras to a schoolhouse in West Nigeria.