Paper Matters Blog
Back to School with Classroom Central

It’s September, which means that classes are resuming and students all over the country are returning to school in some form or fashion. The pandemic has affected innumerable things in our routines and all of us have had to adapt, but there are a few constants, including one important issue: students need school supplies just as much now, if not even more than before.

Educators are searching for resources and looking for support, but Classroom Central a non-profit organization based in Charlotte, NC, has stepped up to the challenge. They equip students and teachers in need by collecting & distributing much need school supplies for free—and they aren’t new to lending a helping hand. In our podcast, we talk with Karen Calder, Executive Director of Classroom Central, as she discusses the current challenges of learning at home or in person and what children need this year to succeed. Here’s what to look out for—

What You Don’t Want to Miss

Karen has a long history of activism, including roles within Big Brothers, Big Sisters and Classroom Central stretching back to 2009. She uses her experience to address a number of topics within education, such as:

  • The misperception that students don’t need school supplies if they are learning at home.
  • Preparing the best learning environment for students
  • How to conduct a virtual back to school drive.
  • The demand for supplies is not confined to the beginning of school but year around.
  • The critical nature of learning on paper versus online learning.

Throughout the podcast, Karen’s practical knowledge is self-evident. She understands the challenges that many children face in today’s school system, sharing with us that “one of the challenges our students have is reading. A lot of the kids we serve do not have books at home for reading. We are trying to figure out how we can work with school districts and community partners to ensure that children that need books and that want new books at home can get them.” Fortunately, Karen has a few solutions that she thinks can help, telling us that “Kids need to write on paper and there’s a special connection between the kinesthetic motion of writing and brain development and information recall.”

All throughout our 30 minute conversation, we were blown away by the depth of knowledge and investment that Karen displayed for Classroom Central and what the non-profit believes in and whether you’re running errands, working around the house or just taking some time to yourself, we believe that if you take the time to listen you will be too.

The Paper Matters Podcast-Back to School: Supplying Students in Need


For more on Classroom Central or to look through some of our other resources, visit the links below.

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