By DENISE DICK
Tavan Sallie, a Kirkmere Elementary
School fourth-grader, was overjoyed with the gift of school supplies he and his classmates received from the Association of Classified Employees at Youngstown State University.
“This is awesome,” he said, looking through the bag of loot.
Sixty Kirkmere fourth- and fifth-graders received the items Thursday morning.
“I got colored pencils and regular pencils and crayons and notebooks and glue and loose-leaf paper and erasers,” Tavan, 9, said.
Some of the supplies he’ll use at school and some at home, he said.
“I didn’t even have to pay for it,” Tavan said.
Fellow fourth-grader Kylearia Day, 9, was equally pleased.
“I got free stuff,” she said. “I got pencils and pens, and I really need pencils.”
Book marks, glue sticks and pencil boxes also filled the bags.
ACE President Paul Trimacco, Vice President Lonnie Gentry, Secretary Melanie Leonard and Mary Dillingham, a member, presented the school supplies to the students. Member Genia Herns also helped coordinate the project.
“It’s something we’ve been doing for years,” Trimacco said. “We weren’t able to do it last year, but this year we decided to start it up again. It’s a way to give back.”
Members donated supplies as well as monetary contributions to the project. The union also donated three baskets of supplies for Kirkmere teachers.
Gentry said he called elementary schools in the area to see if their students needed supplies. ACE members then selected a school from those interested.
Principal Donna Cox-Bing said she, the students and teachers appreciate ACE’s contribution.
“One student just said, ‘This day can’t get any better,’” she said.
The supplies will be useful to students who are part of the district’s literacy collaborative, aimed at bolstering reading skills.
“They have a notebook for reading, a notebook for math,” Cox-Bing said. “This is all something they can use for that.”
Trimacco said ACE is part of the Ohio Education Association, the same union to which city school teachers belong.
“We understand the challenge education is facing now with the economy,” he said. “We wanted to give back and help.”