News Story

School Supply Drive Helps Johnson City Middle School

For more than 19 years, The Johnson City (JC) Mentor Program has aimed to encourage the growth of middle school students through mentorship and support. This past semester, in a recent seminar for the class component of the 2-credit program, students talked about how they could make an impact beyond the support of their individual mentee. These Binghamton students decided to undertake a school supply drive and positively influence the school and district as a whole.

According to Lexie Avery, JC Mentor Program Coordinator, many families in the JC School District struggle to purchase school supplies for their children. This drive aimed to help students thrive both in and outside of the classroom.

Lexie with JC Mentor Supply

The drive included pencils, tissues, paper clips, construction paper and more, all donated by different departments on campus. Mentors reached out to student groups, offices, or their parents’ companies for supplies. An email was sent to the student affairs listserv, so people knew to drop off supplies at the Fleishman Center.

Second year mentor, Lilly Derby, helped organize this drive by doing outreach to the school and organizing other mentors. She said that it is not uncommon to see some students at the JC Middle School lacking basic supplies like pencils and binders, which many of the teachers may purchase out of pocket.

Derby was speaking to a teacher who she works very closely with and was then put in touch with the assistant principal, who helped execute the drive. There was a poll within the teachers to compile a list of needed supplies and the mentors focused on collecting those materials.

Students with JC Mentor Supply

Through their efforts, Binghamton University students collected 1489 pencils (their top priority), 518 pens, 84 binders and folders, 46 packs of paper, 35 bottles of hand sanitizer, 41 packs of index cards, 104 hand-held sharpeners, 86 notebooks, 46 highlighters and 24 sets of dividers, among other items. The supplies will only continue to help students of the Johnson City Middle School in addition to the already existing success of the mentor program.

The JC Mentor Program allows Binghamton University students to work one-on-one with sixth, seventh or eighth graders in Johnson City Middle School. Mentors provide encouragement and support for their mentees, which builds a unique and meaningful relationship for both parties. Mentors help with homework and assignments and also attend school functions like dances and basketball games.

According to Avery, the program has shown great results such as increases in attendance and positive student attitude. Students have a weekly seminar in which they learn about problems faced by middle schoolers and general knowledge about the school system.

Students can really make a difference in the lives of these middle students while also earning credit. This internship is the longest-standing one at Binghamton University and applications are still being accepted to become a mentor for the fall semester. Students can apply through hireBING until August 30 with interviews being held on September 1.

JC Mentor School Supply Drive