TULSA - A local organization that has given away more than a million dollars worth of school supplies to thousands of students is opening again after being forced to shut down temporarily to find a new location.
After a little bit of scrambling, The Pencil Box is reopening Tuesday to continue the mission of serving Tulsa County students and teachers.
Pencils, scissors, notebooks, it's a dream for teachers like Shaniqua Ray, preventing them from digging into their own pocketbook.
“There’s been times where I’ve wanted to do a project in the classroom, didn’t have the money from the school to be able to buy those supplies and so to Walmart or Target I go with my own money, to make sure I could do what I needed to do in the classroom,” said Ray.
The Pencil Box currently serves 47 schools in Tulsa County where most of the students are at or below the Federal Poverty Level.
The organization relies solely on donations to stock their inventory, which then allows teachers to shop for supplies specific to their student's needs.
“When you hear a teacher trading a shoe for a pencil, we just say give the kid a pencil,” Nancy Bolzle, Pencil Box Founder and Executive Director, said.
Bolzle said many students struggle enough with outside obstacles.
“Many of us can’t comprehend the stories many of these children are living with, not knowing where they’re going to sleep tonight, couch surfing,” Bolzle said.
“If a parent has to choose between pencil and paper or making sure that my child is fed, my child has the clothes that they need, then it’s like, it falls on the school and the teachers to be able to supply those basic needs," said Ray.
Now that the pencil box is reopening, thousands of students can now focus on what’s important. Their future.
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