Back to school project helps students succeed in school

The Ralph Reeder Food Shelf in New Brighton will be providing school supplies to children in need again this school year, as they have done for more than 15 years.

Ralph Reeder is a community education program of the Mounds View  Public School District offering emergency and supplemental food assistance, short term case management to other low income resources, school supplies, and holiday help to low income residents in the community.

Last school year the Good Neighbor Back to School Project, run through Ralph Reeder, provided nearly 700 children with school supplies and they hope to do the same this year.

The annual project helps students attending schools in the Mounds View district start off the school year prepared with the supplies they need to be successful in school, supplies that can put a strain on many lower income families’ budgets.

So far, the response from the community has been strong, but supplies are still needed, the project’s supervisor Lisa Baker said.

She said the school supplies Ralph Reeder needs most are items like pocket folders, wide-lined single and three subject notebooks, thick washable markers, red pens, pencils, highlighters, glue sticks, erasers, plastic pencil boxes and backpacks.

Ralph Reeder will be accepting donated school supplies through Friday, Aug. 23. Drop off hours are: Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. The Ralph Reeder Food shelf is located in the Pike Lake Education Center, 2101 N.W. 14th St. in New Brighton. For more information about the program call the food shelf at 651-621-7451.

Picking up school supplies

Parents with children attending school in the Mounds View School District, who are experiencing financial difficulty and need help with school supplies are invited to visit the Pike Lake Education Center on Wednesday, Aug. 28 at the following times to receive free school supplies: (parent’s last name G-L only) 9:30-10:30 or 4:30-6:30 p.m., (parent’s last name A-F only) 10:30-11:30 or 4:30-6:30 p.m.), (parent’ last name S-Z only) 2-3:00 or 4:30-6:30 p.m., (parent’s last name M-R only), 3-4 or 4:30-6:30 p.m.

Spanish speakers who need an interpreter should stop by on Wednesday, Aug. 28 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

To receive school supplies, parents must bring: a picture ID, a current piece of dated mail, student’s 2013-14 bus cards or 2013-14 District 621 Nutrition Services Letter containing their names and pins.

Due to limited space food shelf volunteers ask that children be left at home if at all possible.

For questions, call the food shelf at 651-621-7451.

New Brighton joins the effort during NNO

New Brighton residents helped stock the shelves of Ralph Reeder with food and school supplies during this year’s National Night Out on Tuesday, Aug. 6. Members of the city’s public safety department drove up and down the streets of New Brighton, visiting block parties across the city and picking up food donations and school supplies for Ralph Reeder.

The public safety department focused its efforts on this year’s NNO theme “Protecting Our Future,” by ensuring that no child in the city goes hungry or does not have the necessary school supplies to be successful in school.

City residents responded generously, making the project a success.

“It went really well. We had a very generous response from the community,” New Brighton’s Director of Public Safety Bob Jacobson said.

Jacobson said over the course of a few hours his department had collected around 2,000 pounds of school supplies and 3,500 pounds of food. Additionally, he said as of Friday, Aug 9, they had received $415 in cash donations.

“We want to make sure every kid in the community has enough to eat and has what they need to be successful in school and in life,” Officer Trevor Hamdorf, the city’s NNO coordinator said in a July interview.

Joshua Nielsen can be reached at or 651-748-7824.

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