Pencils Out—It’s Test Time

It’s that time of year, time to head back to school. Here’s our own back-to-school test. How much do you know about what back-to-school means for families in need?

1. Back-to-School is An Easy Time of Year for Everyone?

False! Back-to-school is a time of year filled with mixed emotions. Opportunity and growth await students, but it can be a stressful time for some. Long, complex supply lists and a change in schedule from the summer can make for a tricky transition into the school year. Not to mention the need to maybe buy new clothes.

happy kid with backpack
This is a student from our Grace Apartments in Colorado that’s excited about hitting the books again this fall.

To help families in need, Mercy Housing’s Resident Services’ and their many partners have had backpack drives across many of our communities all over the U.S. It’s our hope that every student has the resources they need to be successful in and outside of the classroom.

students looking at backpacks
The backpack drive at Mercy Housing’s Grace Apartments serves many refugees and immigrants that now call Colorado home.

2. Supplies or Snacks?

Both! It’s heartbreaking when families must choose between school supplies or food. It poses education as a hindrance rather than an avenue to happiness when families have to make tough decisions about how to spend limited incomes.

student studying
Mercy Housing has 58 Out-of-School time programs across the country that are helping students to excel in and out of class.

A recent CNN article cites that roughly 15 million students don’t have money for school supplies in the U.S. That’s 15 million too many. Some teachers even spend their own money on school supplies when they’re concerned that a long school-supply list could pose challenges for low-income families.

3. Back-to-School Stuff is Just For Parents? 

False! Kids are the future of our communities, so ensuring that kids across the country, of all economic backgrounds, have what they need to be successful in school is compassionate, and at the same time, an investment in the betterment of society as a whole—a more humane world.

happy kid in front of bus

4. Subsidized School Lunches Solve Student Hunger?

False! Subsidized lunch programs are wonderful in that they provide essential meals to low-income students in need during school, but there are still far too many kids going to school hungry in our country. Also, school lunches don’t keep bellies full on the weekend.

“Hunger” and “food insecurity” are not the same.

The great thing about affordable housing is that it connects us, Mercy Housing, with residents’ lives beyond their homes and even in the classroom. With over 42, 000 people calling Mercy Housing home, we get to know and grow with a lot of inspiring kids.

kids with backpacks
Children at Appian Way Apartments in Washington State are all smiles with their new backpacks filled with school supplies.

Our Resident Services programs, amongst many other services, offers a variety of educational opportunities from Out-of-School Time, STEM programming, and backpack drives. Reducing cycles of poverty takes more than a home, and education is where it begins.

kid with backpack

If you want to donate school supplies or volunteer at a Mercy Housing community, reach out to us!