Penn Community Gathers School Supplies for West Philadelphia Youngsters

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto | | 215-898-4820August 6, 2013

Through Friday, Aug. 16, multiple locations across the University of Pennsylvania campus will serve as drop-off points for the Penn Volunteers in Public Service’s annual back-to-school drive.

The school supply drive collects basic back-to-school items such as binders, dividers, dictionaries, staplers, glue, tape, calculators, crayons, pencils, pens, paper, rulers, notebooks, book covers, markers, folders, lunch boxes or bags, school bags or backpacks, umbrellas and blank CDs or DVDs.

The supplies will be distributed to nearby schools, after-school programs and other organizations in West Philadelphia.

One of the schools in West Philadelphia that will receive a portion of the collection is Henry C. Lea Elementary School.

Isabel Sampson-Mapp, director of Penn VIPS, which operates through Penn’s Barbara and Edward Netter Center for Community Partnerships, said the University has been hosting school supply drives for more than 12 years and it is one of the Netter Center’s most popular events.

“It is always amazing to me how generous the Penn community is and how we are always willing to support our neighbors who demonstrate a need,” Mapp said.  “We really do make a difference because we assist directly by delivering these supplies to the schools in West Philadelphia, but also we assist indirectly by increasing the capacity of the various agencies in the area by strengthening their ability to help their constituents.”

Donations can be dropped off at:

The Netter Center has forged a new relationship with the School of Social Policy & Practice and its Community TeamWorks program.  This year, the School is one of the new drop-off sites for the school supplies drive.

“Supporting educational initiatives, especially in neighborhoods that need it most, is at the core of Community TeamWorks’ mission,” said Providenza Loera Rocco, a School of Social Policy & Practice alumna and the coordinator of Community TeamWorks.  “We are proud to support the school supplies drive. It is a worthy effort that will help West Philadelphia’s students and families.”

Other schools benefitting from the drive include Benjamin B. Comegys Elementary School and West Philadelphia High School and various non-profit agencies in the area which will also distribute supplies.