‘A blessing:’ School supply drive helps MPS students succeed

MILWAUKEE -- The excitement that comes with a new school year also comes with a cost. Some families with students who attend Milwaukee Public Schools are unable to pay for the supplies their children need. In Milwaukee, when a student needs help, the community steps in.

On Wednesday, Sept. 12 every student at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School left class with a new backpack and school supplies.

"If this has a small impact for one child, then it's well worth the time. We really want the kids to have the supplies they need for the school year. We want to empower the kids to be the best they can be," said Sarah Fierek, 88Nine Radio Milwaukee.

88Nine Radio Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Business Journal teamed up for the "No Empty Backpacks School Supplies Drive." Together, they collected more than 50,000 items to be distributed at eight schools.

Every student received a backpack, pencils, erasers and a notebook. 

"It was a blessing, because some kids didn't get the supplies they really needed," said Tiffany Moore, eighth-grader.

"They will be able to use their notebook, their own pencils and pens. They don't have to ask for their things," said Georgia Jordan, seventh-grader.

None of the items alone are expensive, but when collected by a community, it adds up to a valuable investment in academic success.

"All of these are our children," said Principal Marcus Arrington.

This was the third year for this school supply drive. Supplies were collected at more than 50 Milwaukee businesses.