Cincinnati Competition
Aetna Voices of Health Competition

Crayons to Computers


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Crayons to Computers

Crayons to Computers exists to level the playing field in the classroom by providing students in need the tools to succeed in school. While Crayons to Computers' qualifying shoppers come from schools with 60% or more of the student population on free and reduced lunch, the current strategic plan, adds a focus on the intersection of two things: 1)Schools with the highest level of need (those where 80-100% of the student population benefits from the free and reduced lunch program) 2)The region's earliest learners (preschool through 3rd grade - aligning with the community-wide conversation about the importance of kindergarten readiness and reading on grade level at third grade). Our goal for the current fiscal year (and in the future) is to incrementally increase the number of these students reached through the teacher-shoppers at Crayons.

Through our Teacher Free Store and Mobile Outreach Program (MOP) we offer a variety of materials that support learning, including basic supplies like crayons, paper, scissors, and pencils, as well as enrichment and incentive items that teachers can use to motivate and inspire student engagement. Products are donated or purchased at reduced or wholesale prices. Given our 16-county service area, some teachers experience the barriers of distance and time as they face an hour's drive or more each way to get to the Free Store.

The mobile unit brings a subset of the Free Store to teachers at these more distant schools, ensuring a high percentage of shopping participation and more product to kids in need. In 2017/2018, the mobile unit facilitated 3,878 teacher shopping visits.

For both the Teacher Free Store and the Mobile Outreach Program, $8,960,492 worth of materials was distributed in 2017/2018. A total of 612 schools shopped during the year.

Founded in 1997, Crayons to Computers is driven to bridge the financial gap between families in need and education. Beginning as a free store for teachers, Crayons has so far distributed more than $164 million worth of free school supplies thanks to our partnerships with individuals, foundations and corporations. Since our inception, poverty levels-both national and local-have steadily increased. The increase in poverty levels for schools throughout our region indicates that our services are more important than ever. In fact, according to recent census data, approximately 1 out of every 5 children living in the Greater Cincinnati area is living in poverty.

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Crayons to Computers