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City of Bloomington Fire Department Partners with United Way for First Annual Kindergarten Supply Drive

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 26, 2015

For more information, please contact:

Todd Easton, Chief, City of Bloomington Fire Department, 812.349.9763, eastont@bloomington.in.gov

Alexa Lopez, Communications Director, City of Bloomington Office of the Mayor, 812.349.3406

Ashley Schoolman, Community Initiatives Assistant Director, United Way of Monroe County, 812.334.8370 ext. 27, aschoolman@monroeunitedway.org


City of Bloomington Fire Department Partners with United Way for First Annual Kindergarten Supply Drive


Bloomington, Ind.
- The City of Bloomington Fire Department (BFD) is partnering with United Way of Monroe County and IU Health for their first annual Kindergarten Countdown Supply Drive during the month of June.

The BFD will hold supply drives at all five fire stations. The goal is to fill 25 backpacks for children during the entire month of June. "The City of Bloomington Fire Department is excited to partner with United Way of Monroe County by providing our fire stations as drop off points for the Kindergarten Supply Drive," said Fire Chief Todd Easton. "Hopefully by opening the doors to the five City of Bloomington fire stations, this will provide easy access for the citizens of Monroe County to participate in this program."

The backpacks will have all of the supplies each child will need to succeed during this crucial learning time in their life.

"Leading this supply drive is one more way Bloomington Firefighters show how committed they are to our community. Not only do they keep us safer through their daily work, but they also invest in making sure new Kindergartners have the tools for success in school and beyond," said Barry Lessow, United Way of Monroe County Executive Director. "Many young children in our community will benefit from our partnership with the Bloomington Fire Department and these professional firefighters."

This year marks the fifth year in Monroe County for Kindergarten Countdown, which is a free or low-cost summer camp opportunity aimed at helping at-risk kids with no preschool experience to be ready to learn in their first year of school. United Way's goal is to enroll 25 students in the program, which will introduce literacy, science and math as well as valuable social interaction and classroom behavior skills that are crucial to being a part of a formal classroom.

Ashley Schoolman, United Way of Monroe County Community Initiatives Assistant Director commented, "Kindergarten Countdown is a great opportunity for young students to get ready to succeed in their first year of school. We are very excited about the benefits that this new partnership with the Bloomington Fire Department will bring! Their supply drive efforts will make sure that more kids start school with both the skills and the supplies they need to be successful."

Kindergarten Countdown Camp (KCC) starts on June 3 and ends on July 16. United Way has provided Kindergarten Countdown scholarships for dozens of low-income children for the past four years.

Anyone may drop off supplies at the following fire stations:

For a list of the type of supplies needed, visit United Way of Monroe County's website. For more information about Kindergarten Countdown, visit monroeunitedway.org/kindergartencountdown. For questions regarding drop off locations, contact the Bloomington Fire Department at 812.349.9763.

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