Schools wait for supplies during global delays

Costs rising for basic needs
Summer Learning
Posted at 3:55 PM, Jan 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-12 19:28:45-05

CLEVELAND — The second part of the school year is starting for students all over Northeast Ohio and that means some school supplies need to be replenished. But with supply chain problems it may be harder to find the staples like pens and paper.

"We do try and remind them that, you know, January, February is the start of school all over again," said Terry Uhl about speaking to people who are looking to donate to his organization. He is Executive Director of Shoes and Clothes for Kids, a non-profit in the region.

With kids in classrooms and learning from home they need, "pens, pencils, papers, markers, glue sticks, scissors. All the kind of K-8 basic school supplies.

The issues with the global supply chain are having an impact locally. 

"Prices are up probably, oh, 10% to 15%," he said about the increase in getting supplies for students in need and teachers in low-income districts. "Maybe even some items, 20% over two years. So that's been the bigger shock."

A new focus for the organization is keeping kids stocked all year long not just at the start of the year. It's something school leaders say is vital for student success.

"They're learning a lot and learning a lot as making mistakes and making those corrections," said Green Valley Elementary principal Jacquline Marconi. She said last year the flow of supplies was okay. "This year, we're on backorder for various supplies. It's not always consistent the same supply."

Right now, both Marconi and Uhl are waiting on a shipment of dry erase markers and boards. Both are in high demand.

"It's something that we know if we have the teachers really wanted,Uhl said. Just like everything else, schools are ordering months ahead of their pre-pandemic timelines and getting creative until shipments arrive.