Mayor introduces initiative that will assist JPS students

July 11, 2018 in News

By Cianna Hope Reeves,

JSU Student Intern,

Constituent Services Manager Keyshia Sanders talks about the importance of the Stuff-The-Truck campaign and encourages citizens’ support.

Constituent Services Manager Keyshia Sanders talks about the importance of the Stuff-The-Truck campaign and encourages citizens’ support.

School is on the brink of returning, and back-to-school supplies are needed across the Jackson Public School District.

In a weekly press briefing, Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba announced an educational operation, Stuff-the-Truck, that will provide children across JPS with an abundance of learning resources to utilize inside the classroom.

“This campaign is very instrumental in making certain that our young people, as they start the school year, are prepared with the resources necessary for learning,” said Lumumba.

In an effort to help students acquire an effective learning environment, the City of Jackson, Jackson Resource Center, Mississippi Association of Educators and others have partnered together to improve the supply level of scholastic tools available for JPS students.

Teachers, educational leaders and partners have realized a great number of students within the school system suffer from receiving scarce amounts of needed materials – this lead to the formation of the program, Lumumba said.

“What we have learned over time is that there is such a gap between the resources that students have across our district…this campaign is being thoughtful about the fact that those efforts in the past, didn’t often find their way into the classrooms with those students, and by the time they arrived to school many of those supplies were not available to assist them in their education,” he said.

He added, “This is an effort we could work along with partners and teachers, so they can make certain they don’t have an interruption in the learning process because the student does not have their learning utensils.”

Keyshia Sanders, Stuff-the-Truck coordinator and Constituent Services manager, spoke more about the purpose of the initiative.

“The plan is to create a pantry that will give access to educators to help meet the academic needs for students in elementary and middle school, and we just want to be able to make sure that all of the students have the items they will need to start the year,” stated Sanders.

After the Stuff-the-Truck campaign is completed, teachers will be allowed to go to the Jackson Resource Center where the supplies will be housed and acquire items they may need for school children who attend on the first day.

Carol Redfield Mims, Uniserv director for the Mississippi Association of Educators and campaign organizer, recalled her struggle to obtain supplies while teaching at JPS and expressed how the initiative can academically improve children’s lives.

“When I needed something tangible in the classroom, it was hard for me to put my hands on it – the lack of resources is so great. Though JPS already has a system in place where schools can reach out to them for resources, we just want to add to that to make sure there is an abundance of it that gets equally distributed in the right place,” Mims said.

Lumumba said one method to solving the absence of sufficient school supplies is participating in the campaign – one that has his full support.

“There are equity issues that exist across our school district, and we have to be mindful of the equity issues and do all that we can do to address those matters. We don’t want any child’s learning to be interrupted because they lack resources. I am grateful for the project, and I would like everyone to participate and Stuff-the-Truck,” he stated.

Desired items for students include: expo markers, highlighters, three-ring binders, wide-rule paper, crayons, two-pocket folders, backpacks, wide-rule spiral notebooks, pencils, composition notebooks, glue sticks, uniforms and more.

The citywide Back-to-School event will be held Saturday, July 28, from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Jackson Convention Complex.

Citizens can drop-off materials at Vision Unlimited, 5261 Greenway Drive and Valvoline, 4950 I-55 N. Frontage Road starting July 9 until July 28. Monetary donations are also accepted.

For more information about Stuff-the-Truck visit www.backtoschooljackson.org