“This is our Dalton Difference by making sure our families are as well-equipped as they can be for success.”
School supplies are an essential factor to ensure successful learning for any student returning to school. This month, over 4,000 family resource boxes packed with school supplies will be distributed to families throughout the district.
Caroline Woodason, director of school support, quickly realized the insufficiency of at-home school supplies for many families when classes became virtual last spring. She realized how difficult it was for students to complete their online assignments without proper resources in their homes.
"We want all of our families to be ready and prepared," Woodason said. "Not just families with privilege, but families who are in need as well."
Over the summer, Woodason contacted several local churches within the community for help providing supplies students need, including paper, pencils, sharpeners, calculators, colored pencils and erasers.
Matt Christian, a member of the Christ Presbyterian church, recognized the significant role the church had in being able to provide opportunities for students and their families.
"This is exactly what a church is called to do and that is to be generous with our time, talents and resources," Christian said. "To see this commitment in the community is incredibly encouraging and inspiring."
Woodason recruited Dalton High's Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) to help assemble the family resource boxes.
Through this collaborative effort, Lisette Hernandez and Truc Bui, members of JROTC, realized the importance community outreach.
"I've always liked helping others, especially during this crazy time that we're living through," Hernandez said. "It makes me feel good because I know that the students will have what they need to complete the school year."
"It really makes you feel that you're a part of the community, and that you're giving back what they gave you." Bui said.
Woodason expressed her gratitude to everyone that has shown support as she pursued an endeavor that has not been done before.
"We have great community support within our district," Woodson said. "Per, Dr. Scott, he thought it was a great idea to support our families so that our kids can be successful."
By breaking down barriers, Woodason is hopeful that every student will have access to an adequate education without needing to worry about these materials.
"I think that public education is based on the idea that it's a free education for all people," Woodason said. "This is our Dalton Difference by making sure our families are as well-equipped as they can be for success."