Our foundation has been searching for ways that we could help our Peabody teachers and students with the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has caused to our school system. In December 2020, members from our foundation met with Peabody Superintendent, Dr. Josh Vadala, and Assistant Superintendent, Dr. Lord, to explore different ways that our foundation could help.

Dr. Lord and Dr. Valdia mentioned that with students working remotely, many do not have the proper supplies at home needed to accompany their learning. We learned that many homes do not have basic education tools such as crayons, pencils, pens and paper to name a few and this gave us the idea to create Home School Kits.

The Home School Kits consist of a backpack filled with different tools for learning. Dr. Lord and Dr. Vadala reached out to teachers and asked them what their students were in need of. The teachers made a list of items and we took that list and purchased as much as we could. We were able to purchase and stuff 340 bags with a ream of paper, colored pencils, crayons, glue stick, lead pencils, blue pens, math cards and a whiteboard with eraser and marker! We hope our Home Schools Kits provide students with the tools needed to enhance and accompany their learning during these challenging times.

The Home School Kits are one of the many ways our foundation is supporting our schools during these times. In spring of 2020, we started our online Virtual Guest Reader program where we collected videos from community members who recorded themselves reading a book out loud. The program continued to the fall where we worked with teachers to setup a virtual guest reading session during their class time, just as we would for our regular Guest Reader Program. And just recently, we started an initiative called ‘Help Us Help Our Kids‘ where we are collecting funds to help make an impact on our student’s lives during this unprecedented time.  As the COVID-19 pandemic carries on, we will continue to work with Peabody faculty and teachers to help provide any assistance that we can.