This year, 240 students from various schools throughout Bakersfield will receive a free “homework kit” through their teachers who are a part of First United Methodist Church in Bakersfield.
“When the teachers pass the kits out to their students, the students will know that somewhere in Bakersfield there are many 'church folks' who care about them,” says Julie Vawter, director of administrative services at First UMC. “In addition, the teachers receive a $50 gift card to GW School Supply store to help them with much needed supplies as the school year progresses.”
The homework kit includes six items: Pencils (#2 lead), pink eraser, pencil sharpener, blunt (round tip) scissors, Elmer’s glue stick, and 24-count pack of Crayola crayons.
The church began the ministry in 2004 by providing the kits to children in Liz Bewley’s Title I class at Fairview School in Bakersfield who could not afford school supplies. Over the years, the ministry has evolved to serve 18 teachers and their classrooms.
Each participating teacher is an educator at a Title I school. Title I, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESEA), provides financial assistance to local educational agencies and schools with high numbers or high percentages of children from low-income families, to help ensure that all children meet the state’s challenging academic standards.