College student donates 15,000 school supplies

  • At left: MES teachers Cassie Bates and Felicia Kinard pick out supplies donated by K4Kids.
  • Kathryn Templeton (left) is pictured with her mother Pam and MES Principal Dr. Carolyn Anderson.

An aspiring teacher donated more than 15,000 school supplies to Macedonia Elementary School.

Kathryn Templeton, a sophomore at the College of Charleston who is from Irmo, and mother Pam brought boxes containing pencils, highlighters, books, backpacks, notebooks, paper and other supplies to the Blackville school June 5. The supplies were collected by K4Kids, a non-profit organization started in 2011 by Templeton and her friend, Katherine Meyers.

Teachers separated the supplies into boxes for each grade, comparing the donation to Christmas.

Fifth grade teacher Felicia Kinard said there is definitely a need for supplies as some students’ families can’t afford them. “She’s going to be blessed,” said Kinard of Templeton.

Principal Dr. Carolyn Anderson said she is thankful for the donation. She said the generosity and kindness displayed by Templeton, who co-founded the charity when she was a ninth grader, will help the school start on a positive note next year and help the students be successful.

Pre-kindergarten teacher Tina Sanderlin agreed that the supplies will “make an exciting start to the school year.” While the donation is amazing, Sanderlin said the story behind it is even more amazing.

K4Kids is all about kids helping kids. While she always had the supplies she needed, Templeton saw some of her friends did not. She also realized how some supplies are thrown away at the end of the school year.

“Pass it, don’t trash it,” said Templeton of pairing supplies with students who can use them.

Most of the supplies are donated, though the organization purchases things such as backpacks when they go on sale. Donated supplies come from a variety of sources, including teachers, schools, and the South Carolina Teacher Forum conference.

Templeton, a graduate of Dutch Forks High School in Richland County, plans to become a teacher after graduating from college. She also wants to pursue law school so she can help change some laws and be a voice for students.

Templeton said she loves learning, so education seemed like the perfect career path, especially after she found a passion for helping children learn when she was a teacher cadet her senior year in high school. “I love when a kid learns something new,” said Templeton, who has maintained a 3.5 grade point average during her first year in college despite learning disorders.

Templeton’s mother Pam said they want to follow up with the schools they donate to so they can see how the supplies impacted student achievement. “We’re helping the whole school.”

While Kathryn Templeton is away at college, her brother Michael and friend Sarah Vore have been running the charity and collecting donations.

Kathryn Templeton and Katherine Meyers won the S.C. Education Association’s Richard Riley Award, which is named for the former governor and presented to students whose community service achievements enhanced the sense of worth of others.