The Ballantyne Corporate Park’s seventh annual Color the Park Marker Drive for Classroom Central recently collected 16,266 packs of markers and 930 other school supplies.
The drive, from July 28 to Aug. 1, was set up to help the Kids in Need Foundation Network.
Residents donated markers and other school supplies or made financial contributions in the blue donation barrels in Ballantyne Corporate Park building lobbies.
One dollar buys a pack of markers, said Christina Thigpen, director of marketing and public relations for Bissell Cos.
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“Together, we can make a huge impact in the community just in time for back to school,” Thigpen said.
The marker drive helps Classroom Central provide free school supplies to more than 100,000 students living in poverty in more than 200 schools and six school districts, said Lauren Johnson, Classroom Central’s director of communications.
“We receive no government or school-system funding, so it is truly the support of community members and corporate groups such as the Ballantyne Corporate Park that enable us to act as the primary resource for free school supplies for kids in need throughout the academic year,” Johnson said. “Educators tell us that the work we do helps improve student behavior, timeliness and completion rate of assignments and the quality of students’ work.”
Last year, Ballantyne Corporate Park tenants collected more than 13,000 packs of markers, Thigpen said.
The marker drive is one event The Remi Group strives to participate in, said Jennifer Daugherty, who works in Public Relations and Social Media for the firm. Many Remi Group employees are parents and can relate to the drive’s goal, she said.
“No student should feel the embarrassment of not having the same school supplies as their peers,” Daugherty said. “Providing free school supplies to under-privileged kids is one way to boost their self-esteem and start the school year off on the right foot.”
Companies participating this year include The Ballantyne Hotel & Lodge, Ballantyne Business Center, Bank of America, Courtyard by Marriott Charlotte Ballantyne, Eaton Group, MetLife and OrthoCarolina.