Charlotte, NC—Everything is different this year, including school buildings opening across America without students. But those children are all around us, in neighborhoods near and far, with needs that may be greater than ever before. Educators in Charlotte have been working tirelessly to organize remote learning and provide kids with the tools they need to succeed during the pandemic, but money and supplies run short. So, this year it’s more important than ever to lend a helping hand to those who are trying to help the children in our community.
For three years running, Design-Build firm A M King is supporting Starmount Academy of Excellence—a Pre-K through fifth grade public school where 100 percent of the 510 students participate in free or reduced lunch programs. To ease the burden this year for both families and teachers, A M King donated a variety of essential supplies and will plan to provide uniforms to each student once in-person learning resumes.
“A M King has been pleased to provide Starmount Academy of Excellence with necessary school supplies for the students and their families,” says A M King President Brian King. “Through our collaboration with the excellent team of Starmount teachers and staff, we identify the specific supplies required, and then distribute those to every family in a dignified and safe manner. We are passionate about making sure every family within this school community can fully participate in the education process without worry over whether they can afford basic school supplies such as pencils, papers and scissors.”
“Being new at Starmount, I am just getting to know leadership and employees at A M King,” explains Troy Moore, Starmount Academy Principal. “While working with them to put together this incredible gift for our students, I was so impressed by the passion and care for the Starmount community they displayed every step of the way. A M King is more than a partner to Starmount Academy of Excellence, they are family.”
A M King’s volunteer crew took time out of their busy day last Thursday loading the new supplies to donate into a company truck, traveling to Starmount and delivering the goods to the grateful staff–who often use their own money to purchase necessary items for their classes. The teachers immediately began organizing the supplies for families to pick up and were pleasantly surprised by what they found: 500, 200-ct packs of wide-ruled loose-leaf paper; 5,000 #2 pencils (already sharpened); 1,000 handheld pencil sharpeners; 2,000 spiral notebooks; 500 glue sticks; 180 child scissors; 280, 24-ct boxes of crayons; and 220, 12-ct boxes of colored pencils.
This week, Starmount families have been collecting A M King-provided supplies, books, school-issued hotspots and other technology that will assist students in accessing to the county’s virtual learning platforms. For students who were unable to pick up their supplies, Starmount staff will travel to them.
“Starmount has been once again blessed beyond measure by the A M King donation for students,” says Teri Neely, Starmount Assistant Principal. “Many folks fail to realize that teachers at Starmount and other Title I schools dip into their savings every summer to buy supplies and materials that their students need to be successful. Wonderful organizations like Classroom Central do exist and teachers are able to get materials that may supply part of the needs for three or four students, but due to demand they simply are unable to provide supplies for all students.”
“Starmount is fortunate to have a partner that steps up year after year to ensure that students are provided with materials,” Neely continues. “A M King gathers the student supply list, orders materials, organizes the materials and assists with distribution to all 510 children. This year, due to Covid-19, that has looked a little different, but it hasn’t diminished the generosity or the work that A M King has put into supplying learning resources to our students. To be honest, I don’t know what our school (our students) would do if A M King didn’t come through and literally deliver thousands of supplies every year, and this year especially. I wish I could hug each one of the people and show them the faces of our precious children as they are in awe as they open their bags to look at all of their goodies (school supplies).”
”Supporting children and families in need, and promoting education, has always been the focus of A M King’s community efforts,” explains Brian King. “This is evidenced by our continued support of the Salvation Army Christmas Angels, the Ronald McDonald House and other charitable causes. ‘Fill the Truck’ at Starmount is a continuation of these efforts, serving both the children and the education needs in our communities.”