April 27, 2017 at 5:50 pm

Wealth and Poverty | Students Reflect on School Supplies Drive

The Wealth and Poverty Theme ran its spring School Supplies Drive from March 20 to April 22, 2017.  Students of CAS 2300x Themes in Action: Wealth and Poverty and T3 4400 Seminar in Wealth and Poverty, along with several Wealth and Poverty faculty members, placed donation boxes across campus.  This drive was to benefit students at The Plains Elementary, one of the four K-6th schools in the Athens City School District.  In an effort to raise awareness and donations to help those local schoolchildren, some students used social media, while others posted flyers in their residence halls and classrooms.  Kayla Curry, a Criminology major, put the Wealth and Poverty School Supplies Drive flyers “on all nine floors of Bromley Hall on West Green.”  She said that collecting donations for local students “was fun I have never really done anything like this, so it was a nice change of pace from the average everyday school work.”

Casey Csipke in CAS 2300x made an announcement about the drive in her Anthropology class, highlighting the fact that the vast majority of The Plains Elementary students, about 75 percent, “qualify for free or reduced lunches due to their family’s economic status.”  Paige Shoemaker in the same class talked to her friends in both the Ohio University chapter of Phi Alpha Delta and the Housing and Residence Life department.  In her reflection essay, Paige notes that “during my first mention of the drive, members were astounded when I mentioned the percentage of students living in poverty and the conditions many of them face.  Hands shot up as people asked me to repeat what I had stated, unable to believe the number could be accurate.”  Indeed, this experience was shared by many T3 4400 students who invited Diane Stock of Athens County Children Services School Outreach on March 23rd to give a presentation about The Plains Elementary and its needs.

A month-long drive has far exceeded many people’s expectations in donations.  During the final week of the spring semester when boxes of school supplies were delivered to her office, Yeong Kim in Geography saw her office literally overflowing with crayons, notebooks, folders, and markers.





Anthony Cordetti (Economics and Political Science) with his collected school supplies






On Wednesday April 26, Diane Stock stopped by to pick up the collected items.  She expressed her sincere gratitude to all those who donated and spread the word out.  Yeong Kim said that “Wealth and Poverty is really looking forward to developing more community-university partnership projects like this  – not only to benefit local students, but to provide OU students with community service opportunities.”

Wealth and Poverty Certificate (CTWLTH) student Anthony Cordetti, who is double majoring in Economics and Political Science, strongly agrees with the need to expand community service opportunities by stating that “I believe that there is a divide between university affiliates and Athens residents so when [OU students] hear about the Plains Elementary it really comes as a shock to them.  I think this project not only benefited the school but also brought the community together and attempted to bridge that gap between university and residents.  This project and others could inspire more of this sense of community and promote more action along these lines for not only the school but also the low-income communities of the area and its surroundings.”


Brooke Siggers (Geography) and Kayla Curry (Criminology) helped Diane Stock (Athens County Children Services) upload boxes of collected school supplies.

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