Gov. John Carney announced Aug. 24 an initiative to stock basic needs closets in 45 high-needs Delaware schools.

The closets will receive supplies in time for the start of the school year because of the coordinated efforts of Delaware educators, Delaware businesses, Delaware health care institutions and a partnership with the nonprofit First Book.

Carney showcased the closets at three schools — one in each county — to highlight the impact these free supplies will have on Delaware students and families. Educators at Highlands Elementary School in the Red Clay Consolidated School District, Towne Point Elementary School in the Capital School District and Phillis Wheatley Elementary School in the Woodbridge School District hosted the Aug. 24 event.

“Students face tremendous obstacles to doing their best in school when their basic needs are not met,” Carney said. “By coordinating resources throughout the state, we are helping to make certain every Delaware student in high-needs schools has the basic resources many of us take for granted so they can focus on their education and thrive in the classroom. Thank you to all of our partners who helped make this a reality for Delaware students.”

Delaware’s basic needs closets will provide elementary and middle school students across the state with increased access to free products designed to meet students’ needs so they can effectively participate in class. Each school’s basic needs closet will be stocked with products identified by districts and charter schools as essential to the wellbeing of their students, including hygiene products, school supplies, clothes and more. Students will be able to discreetly access the closets throughout the school year.

Delaware health care institutions and businesses statewide donated funding for the closets, including Christiana Care, Bayhealth, Nemours, Incyte, Nanticoke and Beebe Health Systems, as well as Cover Rossiter, EDiS and Drinker Biddle. Delaware partnered with the nonprofit First Book to purchase the basic needs products at a reduced rate, as a part of the First Book First State partnership.

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