Teacher Resource Center

(Formerly called 'Kids in Need Resource Center')

Low Income Students Get Supplies to Help them Learn

Bluebills play a vital role in the success of a dynamic program that furnishes basic school supplies to low income students in Western Washington. It is called the Teacher Resource Center, a partnership between World Vision, the SHOPA Foundation, The Boeing Company and Boeing Bluebills.

More than $1.5 million worth of school supplies go to students each school year. In the 2005-2006 school year, 4,389 teachers from 160 schools shopped for 58,000 children.

A corps of 55-60 Bluebill volunteers operate the two resource centers, sorting and stocking the volume of supplies that arrive by truckloads several times a month and organizing and hosting the teacher visits. The inventory comes from World Vision and office supply surpluses.

By its seventh year, records show that the teacher visit count reached 30,000. Schools can participate in the program if they have at least 70 percent of their enrollment in the free or reduced lunch program.

Teachers and their students submit colorful posters to the program and thank you letters to the businesses who donate products. The schools that win the monthly poster contest get special treatment at the warehouse. The posters go on the walls and add a decorative flair to the busy scene.
Teachers in the Seattle school district now have a convenient shopping experience near the center of the city on Rainier Avenue South. This 4,500 square foot store also includes office and conference space. Art Teacher Jan Brandfas of Stewart Middle School has just found some treasures at the Teacher Resource Center. These skeins of blue/green and purple yarn will be just perfect for the hair and costumes on the clay masks her kids are making. Her 6, 7, and 8th grade art students are creating miniatures too, as well as greeting cards, which they will sell at school fairs.

The original resource center opened its doors in 1999 as the Kids in Need Resource Center in a Kent, Washington warehouse provided by The Boeing Company. In 2005, the name was changed to Teacher Resource Center.

To better serve teachers in metropolitan Seattle’s 40 lower income schools, a second resource center opened in 2006. This storehouse sits on busy Rainier Avenue South, and is more convenient for the city’s teachers. During its first semester, it welcomed 818 teachers.

The Thursday volunteers at the Kent warehouse show off some of their handmade teacher aides, colorful felt puppets. The volunteers make them in huge quantities and package them up in colorful sets of four. Teachers use them to help youngsters to pronounce digraphs (ch, sh, th and wh sounds.) Each puppet is unique with special hand-painted features. Left to right, seated, the Thursday crew includes Bambi Lee, Maybelle Brickey, Pat Gilroy and Lonnie Stevenson. Back row: Jim Lee, Richard Baker (storehouse manager), Jim Lauritsen, Bob Stubb, Jim Bunt and Howard Syder.Hawes. Front: Hank Kumasaka, Eileen Dunlap and Lonnie Stevenson.
Bluebills who live outside the Seattle area are just as involved in delivering school supplies to needy kids. The Bluebills in the Olympic Peninsula chapter serve 13 schools in their area. The volunteers make monthly trips to Kent to pick up supplies to distribute in their vast three-county area.

In Snohomish and Skagit counties, the SnoKing chapter Bluebills man a small satellite store which opened in September 2005 to serve their communities. .

"Our storehouses are the model for the 15 similar sites around the country and much of the credit is due to the energy, efficiency and never-flagging devotion of these volunteers," says World Vision’s Jim Peterson, director of the TRCs. "In magnitude and scope, we are the largest as well as the most successful of all the sites," he said.

Two of the seven regular Bluebill volunteers who handle much of the traffic at the Rainier storehouse are Hank Kumasaka (left, and Penny Kahn (right), talking with World Vision store manager Reed Slattery. Seattle teachers check in for their scheduled visits at the new resource center on Rainier Ave. S. Penny Kahn welcomes them.


How the Teacher Resource Center Works

25,000th Teacher Visits Teacher Resource Center

Teacher Resource Center Says Thanks

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date of this page version: 28 March 2007