Chamber IMPACT: Pencils and Paper School Supply Drive to Benefit Students In Need


Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce has partnered with United Way of Greater Rochester to promote the Pencils and Paper school supply drive for students most in need in our community. Pencils and Paper operates a free store to serve the educational and creative needs of children in the Greater Rochester area by providing school supplies to teachers at high poverty schools. Businesses and organizations across the Finger Lakes region can help provide kids in need in our community with basic tools for learning by conducting a supply drive.

More than 50% of Rochester’s children live in poverty. Only three cities in the nation have worse poverty rates. If a family struggles to afford food, school supplies don’t top the list of necessities and it is difficult for a child to learn without access to basics such as pencils, paper, and crayons. Moreover, studies show that teachers typically spend between $500 and $1,200 of their own money each year so that their students have supplies.

Pencils and Paper works to even the playing field for local children. In its second school year of operation, it served 57 schools, 1,333 teachers, and provided free school supplies to over 30,000 children in schools where 70% or more of students are eligible for free and reduced meals. Teachers from high poverty schools are invited to fill up shopping carts with supplies at no cost to help their students learn. The store is located at 1099 Jay Street in Water Tower Park.

Pencils and Paper provides the collection boxes, a list of most needed items and can assist with pick-ups. Some of the most needed items include crayons, washable markers, dry-erase markers, glue bottles, and basic hygiene items such as disinfecting wipes and adhesive bandages.

Click here to register to hold a Pencils and Paper school supply drive. Deadline to have items collected for the coming school year is August 9.

Click here to view, print, or share the 2019 Pencils and Paper school supply drive flyer.