Prepare For Success

Help In-Need Students “Prepare for Success”
School supplies for some students are in short supply — but the community can make a difference and, in turn, help them make the grade for the 2013-14 school year.

Columbia Association (CA) is once again participating in Prepare for Success (, a local program that provides free school supplies to students whose families could not otherwise afford them. These students are better able to succeed in school due to having the needed supplies.

“Despite the fact that Howard County, Maryland, is one of the richest counties in the nation, more than 9,500, or 18.2 percent, of its public school students must rely on the Free and Reduced Meal program for nutritious food their families cannot afford,”says the Prepare for Success website. “More than 540 of these students are categorized as homeless. For the growing number of families who can barely keep up with high food, fuel, and shelter costs, buying expensive, required school supplies is next to impossible.”

More than 24,000 backpacks filled with school supplies have been provided since 2002 to county public school system students of all ages who are in need,  according to the Prepare for Success website. Other supplies are also distributed throughout the year.

How can you help?
Tax-deductible  monetary donations for supplies may be donated via the Community Action Council of Howard County’s website at or sent to Community Action Council/Prepare For Success, 6751 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia, MD 21046. Or, if you would prefer to donate school supplies, CA has collection boxes in many of its facilities, including CA Headquarters
(located at 10221 Wincopin Circle in downtown Columbia), the Columbia Art Center (located at 6100 Foreland Garth in the Long Reach Village Center), its three fitness facilities and the 10 village offices, including Claret Hall in the River Hill Village Center. School supplies are being collected at Claret Hall until August 17. Please donate new items only. The needed supplies include, but are not limited to:

• backpacks
• 3-hole lined paper
• highlighters
• colored pencils
• marble composition books
• pocket folders
• plastic pencil boxes
• 2-inch, 3-ring binders
• glue sticks
• No. 2 pencils
• 1-subject spiral notebooks

Prepare for Success is a project sponsored by Community Action Council of Howard County; Howard County Library; Howard County PTA Council; Howard County Public School System; and Columbia Association. For more information, call 443-535-1625.

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