You Can Help Kids Be Ready for School & Ready for School Success
Helping kids be ready for school, ready for success
Helen Banks Routon, EBC Director of Development
I remember the school shopping trips taken with my three sons as they were growing up. A special day for each of them to buy new clothes and school supplies. True, new sneakers and lunch out were what they liked the most but we still managed to find shorts and jeans, shirts and a jacket, a backpack and supplies.
Most of you have similar memories, either of your own experiences or of your children. The ritual of putting on a new outfit made the first day of school feel like an adventure…another big step on the ladder of growing up.
Now take that memory and hit rewind.
Start over with vision of a child whose family can’t take a day off work for a special shopping trip; a family who can’t afford new shoes or new pants or a new backpack. Put yourself in the shoes of a child starting school wearing clothes that are too small or too big, or out of style, carrying a backpack that has seen better days – or no backpack at all. What does it feel like to walk into the classroom like that?
Researchers have the data to show that kids who don’t have appropriate supplies for school, or enough food to eat, or clothes to wear begin school at a serious disadvantage. The emotional and physical stresses of poverty play havoc with their brain development, with both short and long-term negative consequences.
The U.S. Department of Education identified a lack of clothing and school supplies as one of the top challenges facing kids experiencing homelessness. Almost 18% of the kids helped by EBC are currently experiencing homelessness; 98% of the children receiving supplies through EBC live at or below 200% of the federal poverty line.
As school begins, volunteers at EBC will be filling Big Bundles with clothes, shoes, and coats. Others will gathering school supplies with backpacks for kids returning to school.
The shelves will be empty soon. Over 5,000 pairs of pants are given out to kids each month! More shoes, clothes, and supplies are needed today.
YOU can change the equation for local children. Help provide the items kids need for school readiness and confidence – clothing, underwear, shoes and pants that fit, backpacks and school supplies.
Ways You Can Help Kids Today
Buy a pair, give a pair
When school shopping, add in an extra pair of (pants, underwear, socks, or shoes) and donate them to EBC. (most needed items)
Shop our EBC Giving Catalog
You can choose the most needed school supplies from our EBC Giving Catalog. It’s quick and easy and the items are shipped directly to us.
Join us at our 9th annual Pants & More Party
Sunday, August 19th, Noon to 4 pm
Springfree Trampoline, Issaquah
(most needed items)
Meet Our Founder – Karen Ridlon
Twenty-five years ago, Karen Ridlon founded Eastside Baby Corner (EBC). A certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (University of California, San Francisco, 1972), Karen worked as a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in California and Washington, working in well child care, newborn care and newborn ICU support for a number of medical groups and doctors. In 1990, Karen founded Eastside Baby Corner to fill an unmet need of parents of newborns who lacked basic supplies for their children.
She is Executive Director Emeritus and a lifetime member of the EBC Board of Directors. Karen has been recognized for her efforts with many volunteer awards, including receiving the Leadership Eastside LENi Community Choice Leadership Award in 2013, Distinguished Member Award for the Washington State Chapter of NAPNAP (National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners) in 2013, Issaquah Schools Foundation Golden Apple Award (2009), and chosen as a UCSF Distinguished Alumni. Karen was a key player in the development of the Issaquah Community Center and has been a tireless contributor to many volunteer efforts over the years including scouting, the public schools, and her church. Karen is the mother of three children and a proud resident of Issaquah, where she lives with her husband.Meet Our Board of Directors and Leadership