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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Thousands of local students have access to free school supplies for distance learning following a collaboration between The Foundation for Oklahoma City Public Schools and Walmart.

The foundation purchased items like spiral notebooks, pencils, crayons, and highlighters for thousands of Oklahoma City students with an immediate need for distance learning materials.

“It is imperative to provide equity for our students, and there are many families who really needed the extra help for their kids during this public health crisis,” Foundation President & CEO Mary Mélon said. “The Foundation was happy to purchase these supplies, but we had no way of distributing them quickly. We’re incredibly thankful to Walmart for stepping up to deliver kits to the city’s most vulnerable kids.” 

Walmart worked to deliver kits to over 14,000 elementary, middle, and high school students within just a few weeks.

“We are honored that we could help Oklahoma City children, especially during this global pandemic,” said Anne Hatfield, director of Walmart Communications for Oklahoma. “We hope these school supplies will help spark kids’ imaginations during this time of distance learning and allow them to finish the school year strong.”

OKCPS is the largest school district in Oklahoma and serves more than 46,000 students, 90% of which live at or below the poverty line. 

“I am grateful to the thousands of teachers who reached out to our families one-by-one to understand their needs and to our partners at the Foundation for OKCPS and Walmart who immediately stepped in to provide these much-needed school supplies,” said OKCPS Superintendent Dr. Sean McDaniel. “We know that something as simple as a pencil or a notebook doesn’t just equip our students to learn, but they help our kids feel empowered and connected in a time when they might otherwise feel helpless and alone. It is incredible that even as we all work to keep our distance due to the pandemic OKCPS students continue to feel the arms of their community wrapping around them to provide support. Perhaps now more than ever, I am reminded how lucky we are to have caring partners and to live in this great city.”

Anyone interested in supporting The Foundation’s efforts to help OKCPS can do so through the OKCKids COVID-19 Relief Fund.