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Cradles to Crayons Kicks off Ready for Learning Initiative

July 14, 2020

Cradles to Crayons Prepares Students for the New School Year with its Ready for Learning Initiative

July 14, 2020, BOSTON, MA—While school may look different this fall, Cradles to Crayons® is working to ensure every student enters the new year prepared, empowered and excited to learn. The organization’s Ready for Learning initiative is underway and aims to provide 50,000 children across Massachusetts with the learning supplies necessary to succeed, whether learning returns to the classroom or takes place virtually. 

Supported by The Baupost Group, Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA, and TJX Companies, Inc., Ready for Learning stems from Cradles to Crayons’ COVID-19 emergency relief efforts and intends to help alleviate the effects of the recent health crisis on student development. For families severely impacted by the pandemic, purchasing new school supplies can be unrealistic and unaffordable. Though without them, children oftentimes disconnect from the classroom and fellow students. From March to May of 2020, 21% of students across the country did not participate in school due to disruptions to routine and school services. Children in these situations are likely to face disadvantages that can lead to long-term educational, economic, and health setbacks.

Cradles to Crayons is aiming to provide struggling families with a sense of support and security during these uncertain times. With the help of its network of service partners, Cradles to Crayons will distribute new, age-appropriate supplies to thousands of Massachusetts students in need. These basic essentials, including backpacks, school supplies, shoes, and clothing, are critical for children to feel important and allow for them to turn their curiosity into knowledge and success.

“There has never been a greater sense of urgency to respond to the changing needs of our community,” said Aubrey Conquergood, Executive Director of Cradles to Crayons Boston. “For families and children hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical we work to remove as many barriers as possible to learning. Through our Ready for Learning initiative, we’re aiming to boost kids’ confidence and set them up for success in the classroom and beyond.”

About Cradles to Crayons

Cradles to Crayons launched in Boston in 2002 and currently has operations in Boston, Philadelphia, and Chicago. The nonprofit provides children from birth through age 12 living in homeless or low-income situations with the essential items they need to thrive—at home, at school, and at play. They supply these items free of charge by engaging and connecting communities. Cradles to Crayons collects new and high-quality used children’s goods and engages thousands of youth and adults in volunteer activities each year on behalf of local children in need. For more information, visit www.cradlestocrayons.org/boston.