UWM Partners for Health focuses on teachers with school supply drive

School supply drives typically focus on the students of the school. The UWM Partners for Health decided do things a little differently.

“Teachers spend a lot of their own money for supplies, and that puts a burden on them. We wanted to lighten that burden,” said Kim Litwack, one of the four leaders of Partners for Health and dean of the College of Nursing.

The UWM initiative focused on donating a teacher box to every teacher at Browning Elementary School, a school attached to the Silver Spring Neighborhood Center.

All four leaders of the Partners for Health, each a dean of a health-related college, came together to split up the wish list from the teachers at Browning Elementary School.

The teachers most wanted crayons, markers, glue sticks, pencils and reams of copy paper. The Partners for Health deans added facial tissues, disinfectant wipes and backpacks.

“Last year, after the school year started, Menards put their backpacks on clearance. It was $1.99 on every backpack,” Litwack said. “I drove to six Menards in 24 hours and bought out all their backpacks.”

All the items donated to Browning Elementary were purchased by faculty and staff of one of the four colleges of Partners for Health: College of Nursing, College of Health Sciences, Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health and Helen Bader School of Social Welfare.

The drive was a success, collecting over 480 boxes of glue sticks, markers, pencils and crayons, 350 backpacks, 64 reams of copy paper, 39 containers of disinfectant wipes and 32 boxes of tissue for the 19 classrooms at Browning Elementary School. The school supplies will be donated on Aug. 28.

“Our relationship with this neighborhood center has been solid for a very long time, and the involvement of the three other health schools has allowed us to increase that partnership,” Litwack said.

The College of Nursing has had a nursing center in the Silver Spring Community Center, which is situated in the Westlawn neighborhood, since 1987 and creates many health programs there.

Anyone interested in donating school supplies can drop off items at Cunningham 767, and the supplies will be saved for next year’s drive for Browning Elementary.

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