Mission: To provide students in need with the supplies and tools they need to succeed in school.
About the organization: Founded in 1997, Crayons to Computers works to level the playing field in Cincinnati classrooms by providing every student with the supplies and tools they need to succeed. Since its establishment, the organization has distributed more than $170 million worth of school supplies that have been donated or purchased at reduced or wholesale prices from its partner companies. The organization is a member of the Kids In Need Foundation's National Network of Resource Centers, which is dedicated to ensuring that every child is prepared to learn and succeed by providing free school supplies to students in need.
Current programs: Crayons to Computers provides classroom materials that support learning, including basic supplies such as crayons, paper, scissors, and pencils, as well as enrichment and incentive items through its Teacher Free Store that teachers can use to motivate and inspire students. Realizing that it is sometimes difficult to serve the neediest children, the organization launched a Mobile Outreach Program in 2014 that today serves fifty-seven schools in twelve counties. In partnership with 4C for Children, the Teacher Free Store and Mobile Outreach Program also serve nearly two hundred and fifty preschools and early childhood education programs in Ohio and northern Kentucky.
Some of the materials provided by the organization are sourced through the Crafts with Conviction program, a collaboration with the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections and the Ohio Department of Youth Services in which incarcerated men, women, and youth help create flashcards, journals, book bags, and other items. And through the organization's Keep Our Kids Warm program, local volunteer knitters create basic winter necessities such as hats and scarves for students in need.
Website: Teachers can visit the Crayons to Computers website to access teaching resources and ideas for classroom activities; find out where and how to obtain school supplies (including ordering online during the pandemic); and learn more about an access fee that will be implemented in the 2021-22 school year. Visitors alsi can find information about individual, group, and teacher volunteering opportunities and ways to support the organization.
Funding: Crayons to Computers is supported by individuals, foundations, and corporations.