PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) – The countdown to the first day of school can be a stressful time for many children here in Hampton Roads.
It’s not so much about the tough new assignments ahead. These children are worried about whether ot not they will have basic tools they’ll need to even begin the work.
Veteran Newport News teacher Catina Billups says experienced educators can look in a student’s face and see when they have a need. “We can look at their face and see there’s something they may not have,” she said.
Billups teaches 5th graders at Carver Elementary School and she says, in her 23 years, she’s seen many changes in curriculum. “There’s a lot more hands-on activities that have been put into the curriculum, whether it’s with math or science.” And, when a student can’t put his hands on what he or she needs, Billups says, she and other teachers try to step up. “Teachers try to supply those things for them, but we never make them feel like they are less-than, because they don’t have them. We treat every child as an equal.”
WAVY TV’s Operation School Supplies is hoping to stuff a Harrison’s Moving and Storage van full of supplies. Thanks to your donations, we helped provided materials for more than 50,000 students last year. Problem is, educators have said in the past, more than 70,000 children are needy. So we would love to top that number this school year.
Ms. Billups says the extra effort will be worth it. “Take the extra time, go outside, get in line, get to Office Depot when it’s on sale and pick up some school supplies for the classes and the schools. You can never do enough for the school. The children are our future. Somebody’s gotta be there to help them.”
Let the countdown to that first day continue. And with teachers like Catina Billups, and donors like YOU, our children are going to have a great year.