United Way Meets School Supply Needs of Southern Colorado Students

By: Jason Aubry Email
By: Jason Aubry Email

The United Way of Pueblo has teamed up with ENT Credit Union to supply kids in school districts 60 and 70 with much needed supplies.

Some 200 kids will receive a box of supplies called a "kit for kidz." Inside, everything from pencils, to glue, to paper and more; everything the child will need to start their year out right. The initiative comes after years of watching the need for such materials increase with the number of families in need in the districts. In 2009 district 60 had 24 schools with 70 percent of their students qualifying for free or reduced lunches. It's clear many families in Pueblo are struggling to make ends meet.

The kits will be handed out to children selected by the school district. They will also receive a book and new backpack to go along with the supplies. Angel Fuentes, a fourth grader at Irving Elementary was one of the selected children. She's the eldest of three children that her stay-at-home single mother cares for. Angel's mother Brenda says, the eleven-year-old loves school, and was excited to see the new bag and supplies.

Brenda wants nothing more than her three children to get a good education and grow up to be good people. However, she says just getting by is frustrating. She would like to go to college and start a career in nursing, but it's difficult with three small children. Her number one priority is making sure they have food on the table, but that pushed school supplies down the priority list. "I didn't have the money and I got a little bit of them, but I couldn't get all of it," says Fuentes.

About a week into the school year, Angel's locker was barren, while her classmate's lockers were full with supplies. But that's all changed now, and anyone passing by the lockers today wouldn't know just by looking at them her situation outside of school was any different than the other locker owners.

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