If you stacked the 10,000 pencils donated to the Southeast Missourian Jr. Tools for Teachers supply drive on top of each other lengthwise, they would equal the height of the KFVS Building in Cape Girardeau multiplied 45 times. Now, that's a lot pencils. But that's not all some area teachers will receive through the generosity of area businesses and individuals. Mounds of cleaning supplies, markers and notebooks also were amassed.
The idea for the drive originated with Cheryl Ellis, editor of the Southeast Missourian Jr., whose work with area teachers exposed her to the personal investments they make to supply their classrooms. The idea was to help defray a part of the costs for as many elementary school teachers as possible.
Ellis has been coordinating the distribution on a first-come, first-serve basis. She says there won't be enough supplies to fulfill every elementary school teacher's wishes, but the effort will help a little bit. Those who did yeoman work in the supply drive, according to Ellis, included Wes Wade of Horizon Screen Printing, Target Department Store and Southeast Missouri Hospital. Because of the strong response from both teachers and local businesses, plans are already underway for broadening the program next year. Such effort deserves a gold star.