WILKES-BARRE — Tuesday morning started with a surprise for Heights/Murray Elementary students: A boon of pens, pencils, erasers, notebooks and other school supplies courtesy of Wells Fargo, handed out by a bevy of volunteers from area nonprofits.
“This means their parents don’t have to worry about buying school supplies, at least for a while, and can spend that money on something else they need,” Wells Fargo community relations consultant Mike Pany said as he watched the students line up, one grade at a time, to get a tote bag and fill it with everything from glue sticks to pencil sharpeners.
This is the first year Wells Fargo is conducting the giveaway, he added, and the beneficiaries are students at schools with high percentages of economically disadvantaged students. At Heights/Murray, that’s 87 percent of enrollment, according to state data.
Wells Fargo partners with Cradles to Crayons, a nonprofit that focuses on gathering and giving out donations to disadvantaged children. The finance company provides the money and Cradles to Crayons gets the supplies, shipping them to the school. Wells Fargo then enlists volunteers from nonprofits that have education-related programs — some helping at this event included United Way, the Boys and Girls Clubs, and Junior Achievement.
Wells Fargo typically picks one school in each district it visits. Later this month, a similar donation will be provided in the Reading, Allentown and Philadelphia districts, Pany said.
Reach Mark Guydish at 570-991-6112 or on Twitter @TLMarkGuydish