Communities First, Inc. and Sheppy Dog Fund Team Up Provide School Supplies to over 500 students to Finish Strong

Flint, MI – Communities First, Inc. and Sheppy Dog Fund advisor, Dr. Alan Klein partnered for the third year to provide school supplies for students to finish the year strong. Teachers of students in grades Pre-K through second in the Genesee Intermediate School District were invited to apply. In total, 23 teachers responded from Durant-Tuuri-Mott Elementary in Flint Community Schools and Anderson, Cook, Indian Hill, Reid and Brendel Elementaries in Grand Blanc Community Schools. Supply requests that topped the list were pencils, glue sticks, crayons, erasers and pencil sharpeners. Often there are many school supply giveaways at the start of the school year, but when students return following the holiday break in December there is a need to refresh classroom supplies.

Students were excited to receive the supplies, especially glue sticks and crayons. One teacher was so excited to receive a pencil sharpener because there was not one in her classroom. Another teacher commented that her stapler had just broken and was thankful to have a new one. All of the classes received a large bottle of hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, band-aids and facial tissue. One teacher commented, “Not having basic supplies puts an added burden on teachers, children and families. These supplies are so appreciated.”

As a display of gratitude, each class provided thank you notes from the students which included pictures and comments like, “You’re cool!”, “Thank you for thinking of us.” and “Thank you for the pencils.” One student said, “I can’t wait to use those new crayons, I’m going to make you a picture!” Even the simple act of preparing thank you cards allowed the children to practice their writing skills, demonstrate their appreciation and to express themselves through drawings.

Dena Johnson, Program Manager for Communities First, Inc. said, “It is amazing to see the students get so excited over new supplies. Being able to deliver the supplies to the classrooms and seeing the excitement from the students and teachers is my favorite part of this project. We encourage them to continue working hard and we are happy to play even a small part in student success.”

This initiative has grown from 14 classrooms in 2017 to 23 classrooms in 2019. This year alone, 565 students were impacted through this second semester school supply giveaway!

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Communities First, Inc. is a Flint based nonprofit Community Development Corporation which was founded in 2010. The priorities of CFI are affordable housing, economic development, green programs, and quality of life programs. CFI is committed to building sustainable, equitable communities in distressed areas. The organization is the developer of Oak Street Senior Apartments and Swayze Court Apartments located in downtown Flint and has amongst its programs Culture Shock and Green Life. More information about Communities First, Inc. can be found at

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