At The Pencil Box, we believe every child deserves the quantity and quality of supplies needed to succeed in school. Our mission is to maximize the academic potential of disadvantaged students and equalize the learning experience, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, by offering throughout the year school supplies, educational tools and incentive items necessary for successful learning.
Our goal is to offer a wide variety of materials that support learning, including basic supplies like books, crayons, paper, scissors, pens and pencils, as well as enrichment and incentive items teachers can use to motivate and inspire student engagement.
School supplies are donated by businesses and individuals. Supplies not donated are purchased at reduced prices from partnering vendors. Funding is provided through the generosity of businesses, individuals and foundations.
According to the Oklahoma State Department of Education 2018 Low Income Report, 71.94% of Tulsa Public Schools students live at or below the Federal Poverty Level. Families struggling to make ends meet cannot afford school supplies for their children.
Almost 72% of students enrolled in Tulsa Public Schools live at or below the national poverty level. (Oklahoma Department of Education Low Income Report 2018)
Tulsa teachers typically spend $500 to $1,000 out of pocket every year on students and classroom supplies, with some spending more. (Doug Folks, Oklahoma Education Association) At The Pencil Box, teachers from eligible schools can shop for free supplies specific to the needs of their students and classroom learning experience.
Teachers eligible to shop at The Pencil Box must be pre-kindergarten through 12th grade lead teachers at a school in Tulsa Public Schools where 70% or more of the students are living at or below the national poverty level. As funding allows, the free store for teachers will serve all eligible public schools in Tulsa County.
Our goal is to ensure all students have an equal opportunity to learn and the supplies necessary for success, while eliminating the need for teachers to spend their own money.