Principals, teachers and representatives for Denison ISD schools met at the Denison Chamber of Commerce to receive donations of school supplies, toiletries and clothing gathered by the Chamber in its annual Kits for Kids charity drive. This year’s drive brought in over 500 books and other assorted supplies and necessities for students who might otherwise go without.

Principals, teachers and representatives for Denison ISD schools met at the Denison Chamber of Commerce to receive donations of school supplies, toiletries and clothing gathered by the Chamber in its annual Kits for Kids charity drive. This year’s drive brought in over 500 books and other assorted supplies and necessities for students who might otherwise go without.


Now in its seventh year, the charity drive was started to help meet supply needs for students who cannot afford them. The drive is held each year in January, when supplies that were donated at the beginning of the school year start running low. In its 2014 drive, the Chamber helped raise about $6,500 in supplies, putting it in line with previous years.


"Most groups focus on the beginning of the year and forget that things run out in the middle," said Chamber President Anna McKinney.


Among the basic supplies that will be distributed to needy students across the district, outside of pencils and paper, include staples like toothbrushes, toothpaste, and travel-sized bars of soap and bottles of shampoo.


Denison High School Principal Kevin Boettger collected numerous sets of clothes, notebooks, and 15 backpacks for his students. Boettger said that these supplies have a direct effect on student success within the school system.


"It is kinda hard to study if you have to worry about your basic needs," said Boettger.


Susan Lovell, a teacher from Mayes Elementary, loaded up several sacks with the basics, including many books. She said she had plans on putting many of them in the school’s treasure box, to be used as a reward from good behavior. She also took books written in Spanish, for the bilingual education classes held at the school.


"It is a blessing that our community supports us," said Lamar Elementary Principal Janet Mobley. She collected books aimed at beginner readers, and cases of Play-Doh for her school’s Head Start program.


"It’s things like this that we take for granted," she said.


Assistant Principal Kyle Uber, who teaches at B. McDaniel Middle School, recalled having to go out and buy a pair of sweat pants for a student who only had shorts to wear when temperatures barely rose above freezing this week. Among the supplies he gathered, Uber collected over 50 notepads, and 15 extra pairs of sweat pants for students at his school.


Boettger said that this was a clear sign that the community cares not only about the school system, but also the students.


"That is why all these teachers are smiling," said McKinney.