COVID-19 Relief Fund helps 8,600 students continue learning

school supplies

Students from Champaign Unit 4 and Urbana Unit 116 school districts are receiving the home learning supplies they need thanks to a $4,000 grant distribution from the Champaign County COVID-19 Relief Fund and a $1,000 donation from the CU Schools Foundation. 

Loose-leaf paper, composition notebooks, pencils, manual pencil sharpeners, pens, folders, colored pencils, crayons, rulers, glue sticks and note cards are being provided to students to support at-home learning activities.

Dionne Webster, Urbana Unit #116 Director of Family Engagement and Student Supports said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our students’ and their families’ lives in unimaginable ways, and created needs that would be insurmountable without schools and community members working together. The donations our schools have received from the Community Foundation of East Central Illinois, Champaign Urbana Schools Foundation, United Way, the Principal Scholars Program and CU Church have been essential in providing our students with the instructional tools they need to continue learning at home during the mandatory school closures.”

3,224 students in the Urbana School District and 5,439 students in the Champaign School District will receive these home learning supplies.

“During these extraordinary times, school districts are doing everything possible to support families and students through stay-at-home learning. Pencils, paper, and other basic school supplies are essential tools for continued learning but not every family has what they need readily available or the resources to buy what is needed,” said Katina Wilcher, Director of Student, Family and Community Engagement for Champaign Unit 4 School District. “We are grateful to the Community Foundation of Central Illinois, the United Way of Champaign County and CU Schools Foundation for their generous financial support to make sure all students have access to school supplies.”

The Community Foundation and the United Way established the Champaign County COVID-19 Relief Fund in mid-March. The Boards both seeded the fund with $50,000, creating $100,000 to respond to needs in the area. Community members have also contributed to the fund. $20,000 was distributed to local groups last week to provide housing assistance to those who have lost wages or employment due to the Coronavirus pandemic. 

Both organizations continue to work within a network of partners to identify pressing needs. Future waves of funding will continue to address these needs.

school supplies