Remember the Rock, Paper, Scissors game you played in the back seat on long car rides? Well paper still rocks as the print industry comes together each year to help schools avoid not having enough paper to meet their students’ needs.
Many teachers worry whether they will have enough supplies for their students. One commodity that can be in short supply in classrooms, believe it or not, is paper. In fact, according to estimates collected by Edutopia, the average school uses approximately 250,000 pieces of paper each year, which is why IWCO Direct continues its partnership with Printing Industry Midwest (PIM) for their Annual Surplus Paper Drive. For more than seven years, we have been contributing to the success of one of the largest youth initiative drives of the PIM.
Each year, PIM members send notices to teachers in the area and encourage them to spread the word, building strong interest through word-of-mouth. Once the date is set, PIM and its partner organizations generously donate any surplus paper they may have to help classrooms in need. While the drive is meant to serve young people in the community by providing teachers and students with free paper, it also works to help the environment by preventing the paper from going directly to a recycling plant without being used.
Approximately 200 teachers from across the state of Minnesota gathered early on a recent Saturday morning to receive donated paper for their students. Teachers ranged from preschool, kindergarten and grade school to art and print classes. Many said the event was like Christmas for teachers and that the paper donated has helped save their programs. Teachers, volunteers, and helpers were lined up out the door as paper continues to be in high demand in schools.
With shrinking school budgets, teachers often feel pressured to forgo activities that require purchases or dig into their own pockets. Art programs are one area that especially suffers from a lack of funds. However, with the PIM paper drive, budgets can be stretched and as a result, thousands of students are able to participate in print and art programs every year that encourage creativity and help students succeed in other academic areas.
Teachers and students alike really value the efforts of PIM and their members. One teacher wrote to PIM saying, “Thank you for the generous donation in the service of students. It is so appreciated!” Another wrote, “Thanks again for having this. My students LOVED the paper that we found!”
The event was a huge success with many local companies providing paper and hosting the event. Kris Pilling-Davis, Education Director at PIM, said, “Every year there is nervous tension about ‘will we have enough paper?’ Well this year we did and that is because [the print industry] stepped up!”
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