Communities in Schools of Seattle is one of many organizations scrambling to ensure low-income students have the opportunity to begin a new school year on equal footing with their peers.

Share story

NO child should feel ashamed or unprepared for the first day of school.

That’s why organizations like Communities in Schools of Seattle are doing important preemptive work to help make sure low-income students have the school supplies that other students have.

“[Feeling different] puts a barrier between a student and their ability to learn,” says Jennifer Haberman, program coordinator for CIS, which hosts the annual Stuff the Bus campaign.

How to help

To give online, visit:

Questions? Email

If you prefer to write a check, please send those to:

The Seattle Times School Supply DriveP.O. Box C-11025, Seattle, WA 98111

For the 10th year, this dropout-prevention agency is asking employees of community businesses and nonprofits to collect enough papers, pencils and other essentials to stuff three large school buses.

The goal is to deliver boxes of school supplies to about 10,000 low-income students in 35 public schools.

Haberman’s organization wants to ensure no child feels left behind because of circumstances out of their control.

It’s really heartbreaking for kids who know they’re not going to have a new backpack...”

“It’s really heartbreaking for kids who know they’re not going to have a new backpack or a lunchbox with Spider-Man on it because their parents are struggling so much just to give them their basic needs,” she says.

Collections will take place at Office Depot and OfficeMax throughout August. On Friday, CIS will be at the Seahawks’ first exhibition game.

For more information on Stuff the Bus, visit

Of course, readers also can contribute to The Seattle Times editorial board’s annual school-supply drive. Every dollar collected by The Times through Labor Day weekend will pay for supplies for low-income and homeless students to be distributed through Hopelink, Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness and YWCA Seattle King Snohomish.