Dayton block party donates school supplies and resources to families

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DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – As parents everywhere feel the impact of rising prices due to inflation, a Dayton daycare center is helping parents send their kids back to school with the supplies they need .

The Little Hearts School House Early Learning Academy and its Mentoring and Community Service Program hosted a free annual community party to ensure children have what they need to start the school year.

“We can’t house every child in the city of Dayton at Little Hearts, but what we can do is give back to as many people as possible and make sure everyone has a successful school year,” said Little Hearts owner Elisha Osama. .

Little Hearts donated 300 backpacks and school supplies to each child at the block party. Community partners were also on hand with resources for parents, including the Dayton Metro Library, Miami Valley Works, Catholic Social Services and the Community Blood Center.

Little Hearts Mentoring and Community Services vice president Tomeka Cooley-Pettus said between the pandemic and the impact of inflation, it’s been hard for parents to make ends meet.

“We understand that people, especially our children, need supplies to do this year-round,” Cooley-Pettus said. “Not just the supplies for the kids, but the parents need to know that they actually have help in the communities.”

For parents like mother-of-three Erika Holloway, she said such support makes all the difference for families.

“It means a lot because this community, in particular, we need it,” Holloway said. “We need as much help, but as much, you know, giving and just things for the kids to do, especially in the summer. So that means a lot to us.

“When a family struggles, the child struggles too, so how do we beat that by coming together in one mission, one voice to say we’re here for you,” Cooley-Pettus said.

Little Hearts is a preschool and child care program for children 6 weeks to 12 years old. Once children reach adulthood, they can participate in their mentorship and community service program for help with homework, college applications, and job search.

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