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KidSmart empowers children in need to succeed in   school by providing essential tools for learning.

KidSmart Frequently Asked Questions

KidSmart opened its doors in 2002 to improve the educational opportunities afforded to tens of thousands of local children who live in poverty in our community. Since opening, KidSmart has supplied 100,000+ of kids in need with $28 million worth of free schools supplies. Through a successful community-wide collaboration, KidSmart has equipped our children, who are at the greatest risk, with the tools they desperately need to succeed in school.

What is Push for Pencils?

KidSmart’s Push for Pencils, the largest drive of its kind in Missouri, is a community-wide school supply drive which takes place each August. The movement is grassroots and includes more than 150 participating businesses, 50,000+ employees and individuals throughout our community. Each year, 500,000 essential school supplies are collected, and then directly distributed, to tens of thousand of local children through the KidSmart Free Educational Supply Store. More than 90,000 local, school-aged children live in poverty and often attend school without basic supplies. Supporters of this campaign believe that every child deserves a chance to have the learning tools and educational experiences they need to succeed in school and thus throughout life.

When is the Push for Pencils Campaign?

Push for Pencils takes place every August 1-31.

As a company drive coordinator what is my role?

KidSmart asks that as the drive coordinator, you help in the following areas:

  • Coordinate the drive within your company
    • Select dates for your drive
    • Arrange for the supplies to be collected
    • Arrange for the supplies to be sorted and tallied
    • Arrange for the supplies to be delivered to KidSmart
  • Promote the drive with your employees

How long should our drive be?

It may be as long as a month, August 1-31, or as short as one (1) day.

What are the most needed items?

Pencils, paper, markers, crayons, and glue are the top five (5) most needed school supplies, but many other school supplies and educational resources are also always in demand.

Where will the supplies go? How will they be distributed?

All school supplies are delivered to the KidSmart Free Educational Supply Store and distributed for back-to-school in August and throughout the school year to the tens of thousands of children in need whom KidSmart serves.

Is KidSmart accepting items other than school supplies?

KidSmart’s PUSH is for the basic school supplies such as paper, pencils, markers, crayons and glue which are the supplies needed most by the children whom KidSmart serves. They are supplies that are consumable by nature and without them a child faces an obstacle nearly impossible to overcome.

Can financial donations be made?

Yes! KidSmart is proud of the fact that 95% of our donations support the KidSmart Free Store Program. 5% is invested for fundraising and administrative expenses. For every $1 donated, KidSmart is able to leverage that financial support and distribute $7 worth of free school supplies and educational resources to the tens of thousands of children we serve. That’s a powerful 7 time return on investment!

How will the supplies get to KidSmart?

KidSmart relies on company employee volunteers to transport the donated supplies to our Free Educational Store. This is an additional volunteer and donation opportunity for someone within your organization.

If our company has multiple locations will KidSmart pick up our supplies?

Again, KidSmart relies on kindness and support of our corporate employee volunteers to ensure that the supplies get delivered to our Free Educational Supply Store so that we may distribute them to our tens of thousands of kids in need.

Are there any volunteer opportunities?

Yes! You may create volunteer opportunities within your company drive: Supply sorters, counters, packers and delivery persons. Also, KidSmart offers corporate team building opportunities including volunteer opportunities at the KidSmart Free Store to stock the shelves and help the teachers shop for the supplies their students need. Contact KidSmart at 314-291-6211 or info@kidsmart.org for more information. Contact KidSmart at 314-291-6211 or info@kidsmartstl.org for more information.

What is a Push for Pencils Community Partner?

Community Partners equip tens of thousands of local kids in need by hosting a supply drive throughout the month of August.

Back to School Community Partner Includes:

  • Branded drop off containers for all retail locations (includes corporate logo on pennants)
  • Cross promote with KidSmart to customers through in-store and weekly digital marketing efforts
  • “Push for Change” Partner and contribute financially in one of many ways.
  • Corporate Volunteer Opportunity to deliver & distribute school supplies to kids in a KidSmart classroom during KidSmart’s Back to School Celebration with St. Louis Rams tight end Jared Cook

Recognition Includes:

  • Logo included on KidSmart website as a Jared Cook’s team of Community Partners
  • Cross promotion from KidSmart on social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Push for Pencil’s Website, Feature on KidSmart Blog

Since opening in 2002, KidSmart has distributed over $38 million in free school supplies to
129,000 local kids in need. KidSmart is proud of its financial stewardship...95% of all product
and monetary donations go directly toward our free store program.
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