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Montgomery County Public Schools Retirees Association

“Toolkits Project”


The Toolkits Project was first initiated by MCPSRA in 2003 at the request of then MCPS Superintendent Dr. Jerry Weast to help economically disadvantaged elementary school children who attend the Title I Extended Learning Opportunities Summer Adventures in Learning (ELO SAIL) Program at approximately 25 school sites each summer.  The Project has grown in size and scope over the years from one that benefited some 800 students the first year to one that touched the lives of over 1,600 children during the summer of 2016.  Each year the number of toolkits we are asked to provide goes up as there are more and more families in our county experiencing economic hardships.  This project has achieved local, state, and national recognition and many awards including a national one from NRTA/AARP entitled With Our Youth! Excellence Award.


Lidded plastic box Toolkits containing a carefully selected and generous variety of school supplies are assembled and distributed to all Title I summer school kindergartners for use at home to support their learning at school.  The number of kits needed each year has escalated from 800 the first year to nearly 1360 this summer.  Since the project began approximately 16,000 Toolkits have been assembled and distributed.    Once the kits are assembled and distributed to each school site, in-service training sessions for parents are offered by Title I staff to help parents learn how to best use with their children the items and lesson plans provided in the Toolkits.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we had to suspend for the last two years assembling and distributing Toolkits.  We are very eager to resume our project this year and are moving ahead quickly with plans to provide approximately 2,400 kits this coming summer.  

Unfortunately the cost per Toolkit has risen due to inflation and supply costs.  Each Toolkit now costs approximately $18-20.  So your financial support is needed more than ever!  Checks payable to MCPS Educational Foundation may be sent to Mrs. Joan Donovan, 13 Hilton Court, Gaithersburg, MD 20882-3521.  Please include your contact information.  

Joan Donovan and Trish Bendler. MCPSRA Special Projects Committee Co-Chairs
June, 2022