Cumberland Co. school provides free supplies for students

A Cumberland County school called Frank P. Brown Elementary has provided all 600 students with free school supplies for the upcoming school year.
One Less Worry for Parents
Published: Jul. 21, 2022 at 7:39 PM EDT
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CROSSVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Cumberland County school, Frank P. Brown Elementary, has provided all 600 students with free school supplies for the upcoming school year.

“Ever since COVID, we’ve seen the difficulties that, you know, families, some families have had,” Principal Stephanie Speich said.

Speich said she and the staff envisioned buying their student’s school supplies for the upcoming 2022-2023 school year.

“We’re all about unity, and we’re all about equality, and we want to put everybody in the same place when we start school, give everybody a fair chance and have what they need,” Speich explained.

Speich and the school’s bookkeeper budgeted $6,000 to ensure each student had the classroom items they needed. That includes paper, pencils, folders, binders, glue sticks, crayons, colored pencils, markers, tissues, cleaning wipes, and more.

“We qualify for Title I and federal funding because of the amount of economically disadvantaged children we have here,” Speich explained.

For families like Heather Smith and Carol Duvall, something this generous will make a significant impact.

“I think it’s a blessing, not just for my family, but for other families, and all the kids can start on the same page,” Smith said, “The kids don’t have to worry, the parents don’t have to worry about running out and getting an abundance of things.”

Duvall said she often spends around $100 on school supplies because she likes to send more to ensure the teachers have what they need for their classrooms.

“Things are just hard this year, I feel like for everyone, and it’s just been amazing just to know that school supplies are covered,” Duvall explained.

English Language Arts Teacher Ashley Davis said all the students having the same supplies helps them succeed.

Davis said, “They have pride in their own work and so this opportunity that they have, it’s outstanding what our principal and what our community has offered for our students.”

“My hope is that this will touch other places to do the same thing. And our kids can be on the same level. And the parents are less stressed out at the beginning of the school year trying to get all the things that the kids need,” Smith explained.

Speich said the Tansi Exchange Club, the Ladies Club in Tansi, and area churches also helped.

The school is asking families who attend the school for $10 per student for replacement supplies throughout the school year.

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