Above, Local District South Superintendent Christopher Downing passes out supplies to students at 92nd Street Elementary School.
In a day that brought smiles to all, Arcadia-based Yoobi school-supply company has given L.A. Unified one of the company’s largest-ever donations: enough markers, pencils, erasers, crayons and rulers for 27,000 students.
Yoobi, which gives away an item for every one purchased, recently distributed turquoise-colored gift packs loaded with supplies to kids at schools in Local District South. School Board Vice President Dr. George J. McKenna III was on hand for the event at 92nd Street Elementary School.
“We appreciate socially conscious companies like Yoobi that embed ideas, like the spirit of philanthropy, throughout their business channels,” McKenna said.
Click here to watch a video of the giveaway at 92nd Street Elementary School.
Yoobi employees, wearing teal-colored shirts, walked into a third-grade classroom to cheers from the 92nd Street Elementary students.
“This donation provides an exciting opportunity to get much-needed school supplies into the hands of kids who need them most,” said Justin Wolff, the company’s chief giving officer.
Wolff huddled with the students, saying he wanted the supplies to make them feel confident about learning and their ability to succeed. Kids’ hands shot into the air when he asked what career they wanted to pursue. Boys expressed their dream of becoming professional athletes, while a girl said she planned to become a veterinarian.
But all of the students raised their hands when Wolff asked who among them would be going to college. Principal Priscilla Currie, standing in the back of the room asked, “You’re going to go where?” The kids shouted, “To college!”
Through its partnership with the Kids in Need Foundation, Yoobi donated more than 900 boxes of classroom essentials that are sorely needed. In L.A. Unified, more than three out of four students qualify for free or reduced-price meals, a statistic often cited for measuring poverty. What’s more, a recent study by the foundation showed when kids come to school with adequate school supplies, 60 percent finished their homework; 71 showed improved attendance; 76 had a greater interest in learning; 82 percent increased classroom participation; and 94 percent raised their classroom preparedness.
“Not having access to basic learning tools should not jeopardize a child’s potential for future success, said Christopher Downing, superintendent of Local District South. “Yet sadly, many of our kids face this reality. The teachers and students of L.A. Unified are among the most hard-working and committed in all of California. I am so grateful that Yoobi has recognized our community with this generous gift.”
Wolff said the best ‘thank you’ would be for students to attend school everyday, try hard in class and maintain a great attitude. The visit ended with him reading a tribute to the teacher, and a group hug.
“I was excited for the students because they were so excited,” Currie said. “I think what made it so personable was the Yoobi team coming out to the classroom. They excited the students about the day, and they were excited about learning. I think that was very powerful.”
She added some students who lacked school supplies were previously unable to finish assignments at home.
“Kids want to do their homework,” Currie said. “We need to make sure they have the supplies, and Yoobi was able to do that.”
Student, Rockxana said she was eager to tell mom about her new gifts, especially the colored pencils, her favorite item.
“I will color and do my homework,” she said of the new supplies.
Wolff said of Local District South, in particular, and the District, in general, that there are “a lot of great things are going on here. I want to support people who are doing amazing things. If there’s anything we can do to support that, we will.”
He added, “I hope this marks just the beginning of a relationship with L.A. Unified. I want it only to get bigger and better from here.”