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Just how important are proper school supplies?

Spoiler alert: They make all the difference in the world

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Thousands of children attend school in Central Florida without even a pencil or piece of paper.

Every first day of school, more than 80% of teachers in Central Florida report that more than half of their students show up without essential supplies they need to learn and participate, according to the group A Gift For Teaching.

It seems these numbers stem from the fact that more than 240,000 students come from families living at or below the poverty line. Some families barely have enough to feed their children, let alone provide them with school supplies.

Because they care about their students' well-being, teachers in Orange County routinely dig into their own wallets to pay for supplies. This back and forth lack of funding hurts the entire education system.

Life cannot exist without water, a plane cannot fly without wings and students cannot learn without basic supplies.

Teachers and students need specific tools and supplies to preserve our future, help shape young minds and better the community.

The importance of back-to-school fundraisers

Federal, state and local funding for public schools in Central Florida is dangerously low and often isn't enough to provide students with a full education.

As a result, public schools unfortunately struggle to give children the basic learning tools they need to be successful. Because of this, it's up to the local community to help.

One incredibly supportive thing the community can do to support students is participating in back-to-school fundraisers. Investing in education is investing in the future. The students of today will go on to change the world tomorrow. Fundraisers provide the opportunity for Orange County to come together and give back.

How to help

While helping out students and teachers with the supplies they need for school seems like an uphill battle, there are plenty of ways to pitch in.

A Gift For Teaching proudly serves 287 public schools in Orange and Osceola counties by donating pencils, paper, glue, crayons and other items.

The group regularly hosts back-to-school fundraisers that get the whole neighborhood involved. These fun and exciting events help spread awareness and directly give schools the tools they need.

Last year alone, the WKMG News 6 Telethon raised more than $33,500, allowing the organization to provide local public schools with more than $670,500 in supplies.

To touch lives and truly make an investment in the future, visit this website.