K4Kids donates more supplies to elementary students

Earlier this year 19-year-old Kathryn Templeton of Irmo was contacted by Dr. Carolyn Anderson who was then principal of Macedonia Elementary School in Blackville. That connection resulted in thousands of school supply items being donated by Templeton’s K4Kids non-profit organization which collects and distributes supplies.

Anderson, who recently transitioned as principal of Barnwell Elementary, reached out to Templeton again. On Wednesday, July 8 Templeton returned to Barnwell County along with her mother, brother and friends with over 16,000 items for the school. In addition, she brought several boxes of items for Macedonia Elementary. “We couldn’t get everything in the truck the first trip,” she said.

“It’s a blessing to have them here,” said Dr. Anderson as she helped unload boxes of pencils, pencil holders, backpacks, notebook paper, bulletin board decorations and three computer printers. “We can’t thank them enough for their kindness and generosity.”

Dr. Teresa Pope, superintendent of District 19, was also grateful for the second load of supplies. “We appreciate the supplies. I am looking forward to our teachers getting them and preparing their classrooms.”

When she came June 5, Templeton donated more than 15,000 school supplies to Macedonia Elementary School.

Kathryn Templeton, a sophomore at the College of Charleston, started K4Kids, a non-profit organization, in 2011 with her friend, Katherine Meyers.

K4Kids is all about kids helping kids, said Templeton. 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 Fork 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.

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

Michael, 16, and a buddy, Braxton Carr, also 16, assisted with the most recent trip to Barnwell County.

Seven other schools in the state, both public and private, have benefited from their generosity. “Everything in the last six months has been done by me and my family,” she said.

Both Kathryn and her mom, Pam, said donations and interest “exploded” after The People-Sentinel published an article on them June 17 and posted on the newspaper’s website and Facebook page.

“I am so grateful to the people of Barnwell County,” she said. “They are helping us and we are helping them.”

(Jonathan Vickery contributed to this article.)