The Toolkits Project was first initiated by MCPSRA in 2003 at the request of then MCPS Superintendent Dr. Jerry Weast to help economically disadvantaged in-coming kindergarten school children who attend the Title I Extended Learning Opportunities Summer Adventures in Learning (ELO SAIL) Program at approximately 27-32 elementary school sites each summer. The Project has grown in size and scope over the years from one that benefited some 800 students the first year to one that touched the lives of over 2,100 kindergartners during the summer of 2023. Each year the number of toolkits requested by Title I increases as there are more and more families in our county experiencing economic hardships. This project has achieved local, state, and national recognition and many awards including a national one from NRTA/AARP entitled With Our Youth! Excellence Award.
Lidded plastic box Toolkits containing a wide variety of curated school supplies, as well as a packet of bilingual lesson plans, are assembled and distributed to each school site. Title I staff offer in-service training sessions for parents and guardians of kindergartners enrolled in the Title I ELO SAIL summer school program. The Toolkits are given to the families with detailed instructions for use of the lesson plans with their child over the summer. It has been clearly demonstrated that the Tookits program gives each child a "leg up" for the coming school year. Over the 20 years of its existence, approximately 26,000 Toolkits have been assembled and distributed through this very special MCPS Retirees Association project.
Unfortunately the cost per Toolkit has risen substantially due to inflation and supply costs. Each Toolkit now costs approximately $22-23 to assemble. Your financial support is greatly needed to continue this crucial project for the neediest of our county's school children. Please donate now!
Make out your tax-deductible check to MCPS Educational Foundation c/o Mrs. Joan Donovan, 13 Hilton Court, Gaithersburg, MD 20882-3521. Please include your contact information so that a receipt may be sent acknowledging your generosity.
Joan Donovan and Trish Bendler. MCPSRA Special Projects Committee Co-Chairs