NEWPORT, Ky. — A collaborative effort was made in Newport on Saturday. Officers, educators and the National Guard helped assemble the team that set up outside the Newport Kroger to collect school supplies.
“Books, pens, papers, pencil boxes, rulers, erasers, all the school supplies that are in this store. We’ll take glue sticks,” said Katie Neuspickel, Head Start Health and Safety Coordinator .
Newport Police Department Capt. Paul Kunkel said the idea came from watching a teacher buy year-old supplies at a grocery store.
“There was a teacher in front of me, filling her trolley with school supplies – notebooks, pencils,” Captain Kunkel said.
Every year now, officers join others in an annual “Cram the Cruiser” event to collect different items for the school. Educators said it helps take the stress out of families and teachers when collecting their own supplies for the school year.
“It’s one less thing for students’ families to worry about. We want the best for our students, like everyone else, and that’s one less thing our parents have to worry about. It’s one less thing our teachers have to worry about and they can focus on teaching and meeting the needs of our children in the classroom,” said Nichole Hayden, deputy head teacher at Newport Primary.
Kunkel said more vehicles are now being used to collect whatever the community donates to their cause. He knows that these gifts go a long way.
“When you walk into the classroom and see a notebook, you know where it came from. You see them pull out a pencil and you know where it comes from. When they color their little coloring pages and they use crayon or crayon or marker, it makes you smile because you’re part of it,” he said.
Hayden said it takes a village to play a role in helping the next generation learn. They will take the supplies and distribute them to teachers and students returning to Newport classrooms this fall. Officials also said the annual Newport Night Out is returning on August 2 to further prepare children for school.