Greater Victoria Parent Resource Center sees increase in number of children in need of school supplies – Saanich News


Every week, Yasmine Nijjar buys colored pencils.

This is a very small part of her role as Member Services Coordinator at the 1Up Single Parent Resource Center. The colored pencils meet the school supply needs of the children of Greater Victoria.

Turns out they’re the only thing on every teacher’s supply list. Nijjar knows this, she checked the teacher rosters for each child enrolled in the centre’s back-to-school supplies program.

This year, that number is much higher.

“We have seen an overall influx of new members in general,” said Nijjar.

Last year, the school supplies program supported about 150 families or about 350 children. So far this year, they had 165 families registered with two weeks remaining in August. Those two weeks, and the first two in September, tend to be when other families in need find them, through other resources or word of mouth. She expects this to mean that at least 100 more children will need school supplies.

Having the necessary tools in the classroom removes the limits on children, allowing them to achieve whatever they want to achieve, Nijjar said. School supplies are the first step.

“I’m not from a single parent family but I’m from an immigrant family and it sucked going to class and everyone had everything,” she said.

“You just want to fit in. We are doing our best to make this possible. “

The organization collects the kits for children in Kindergarten to Grade 12 and is funded entirely by local donors, with great help from the Saanich Baptist Church. The funding allows the center to purchase pencils, markers, pens, notebooks, calculators and other essentials that schools need. Monetary donations are best, to fill in the gaps if necessary. Otherwise, Nijjar will never say no to colored pencils.

Donations can be made online at or call the Single Parent Resource Center 1Up 250-385-1114 for advice.

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