New school supplies help children move ahead

A student with a new backpack at Lawndale School

In Chicago's North Lawndale community, where the median household income is about half the Illinois average, many families scramble to pay for rent and food. Few dollars, if any, are left for new school supplies.

With the help of gifts-in-kind from corporate sponsors, World Vision's Teacher Resource Center provides learning tools and classroom supplies to schools like Henson Elementary, where more than 70 percent of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. World Vision also has given hundreds of backpacks stuffed with supplies to local children at back-to-school events.

"If you don’t have school supplies, you can’t do the work," said Ledell, a student at Henson. "If you don’t do the work, you won't get good grades. If you don’t get your education, you won't get the knowledge you need for the world."

A student with a new backpack at Lawndale School

Claudia Jimenez, a former principal at Henson, said that it is "different for kids to have brand-new supplies as opposed to something that's used. And when you have something shiny and new for the first time, I think it's more motivating to them to want to learn."