Yoobi, Verizon classroom packs help bridge supply gap

With many students in the Milwaukee area still learning remotely due to the coronavirus pandemic, ensuring they have the tools they need has been a challenge, but there's an effort to replenish those supplies to help students make it through the school year.

"We feel every student deserves an equal opportunity to get an education," said Jess Benton, marketing director at Yoobi.

With that in mind, Yoobi, a school supply company, is giving back to schools all over the United States, including middle schools in Milwaukee. 

"Each classroom pack has enough supplies for 30 students," said Benton. "We provide 425 essential tools to continue their education."

The classroom packs full of learning essentials are provided to Verizon Innovative Learning Schools like the Lincoln Center of the Arts.

"We wouldn’t be able to continue to have students engaging, attending and learning without these supplies," said Jessica Lowery of Verizon Innovative Learning Schools.

It's an effort to bridge a supply gap while Verizon helps bridge the digital divide that has been critical for some families during remote learning.

"It's huge," said Lowery. "It's huge. A lot of our students in MPS are relying on those hotspots and things like that for families that do not have internet. Luckily, we have these LTE-enabled devices. They would not even be able to access the content without these devices."

Still, generosity is only part of the equation for success.

"That’s our main goal, I would say, for the second semester, is making sure that we use our resources to the best of our ability to serve our students and make sure they are career-ready," said Lowery.

Officials with Yoobi, the buy-one-give-one school, home and office supply company, encourage people to remember businesses that give back when you are making purchases or donating this holiday season. 

Currently, Milwaukee Public Schools has five schools in the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools initiative and officials hope to expand it next year.