When two tragedies struck the southwestern United States – Hurricane Harvey and, on a smaller level, the burning of Cameron High School in Oklahoma – staff members at the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith saw an opportunity to help give back to the educators in those areas.
The university’s School of Education – housed within the College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – is currently hosting a Stuff the Bus drive on campus through Sept. 21 in an effort to gather school supplies to donate to Oklahoma and Texas, according to Dr. Monica Riley, interim executive director of the School of Education.
“All of us in the School of Education have been classroom teachers, and we know the struggle that teachers feel when they cannot meet the needs of their children,” Riley said. “With their schools flooded or destroyed, just to be able to do their jobs is everything to them, and as fellow schoolteachers, we want to be able to extend a hand to help with that.”
Riley said Ginger Osburn and Dr. Cheryl Lehman, assistant professors in the School of Education, both came to her with the idea.
The yellow school bus where residents can donate items is parked in front of the Sebastian Commons, located at 801 N. 49th Street. Donations are being accepted from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and any school-related supplies are welcome to be donated.
“We’re looking for anything it takes to run a school,” Riley said. “Because it’s not just what the students need, it’s what the teachers need as well.”
For more information, contact Riley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 479-788-7912.
About the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is the premiere regional institution of Western Arkansas, connecting education with careers and serving as a driver of economic development and quality of place in the greater Fort Smith region. Small class sizes, dedicated faculty and staff, affordable tuition rates, and a diverse on-campus culture allow UAFS students to fully explore their areas of interest in ways that prepare them for post-graduate success academically, professionally, and personally. To find out what makes UAFS just right for you, go to www.uafs.edu.