BETTENDORF, IOWA (July 5, 2023) — Every child deserves to start their school year off on the right foot. This means having the necessary supplies: Markers, notebooks, pens, and pencils, and, maybe most important of all, a backpack. Since 2006, the First Day Project: Quad City-Wide Student Supply Drive has been striving to make this a reality by supplying thousands of local students with the items they need to start the school year with confidence.
In coordination with the First Day Project’s school supply drive, the Quad Cities Community Foundation is encouraging monetary donations to the First Day Fund to directly support students and schools across Scott and Rock Island Counties as they prepare for the new year: qccommunityfoundation.org/first-day-fund.
In several area school districts, the proportion of students qualifying for Free and Reduced is as high as seventy percent, with families not always able to provide the supplies their children will need to start the year right. The Davenport Community School system, for example, is home to more than 40,000 students, more than half of whom are from low-income families and qualify for Free and Reduced waivers for school meals and fees.
“The need has just grown and grown and grown,” said John Border, community education specialist for Davenport Community Schools. “We can’t fix everything, but the First Day Project makes an immediate, tangible difference for these students by helping them feel prepared to learn.”
The Community Foundation is a long-standing supporter of the First Day Project. Since 2006, more than $160,000 in donations have been granted out to area school districts from the First Day Fund.
“Monetary donations give schools a tremendous amount of flexibility to meet specific needs for our students,” Border said. “These gifts fill in a lot of gaps.”
The First Day Fund accepts donations throughout the year, but the need is greatest now as back-to-school shopping begins. Donations can be made through the Community Foundation website: qccommunityfoundation.org/first-day-fund. School supplies can be donated at various sites throughout the Quad Cities during the summer.