Sometimes it’s the Simple Things!

Students at Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter School in Juniata are pictured with a brand new pack of pencils thanks to a program run by Pencils.com. / Photos: T. Lineman / Juniata News

YOU get a pack of pencils — and YOU get a pack of pencils — EVERYONE gets a pack of pencils!

Ok, so it’s not quite Oprah Winfrey giving out cars to everyone in her audience, but the kindness and gratitude that took place recently at Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter School (CAP) was incredibly great to see.

Each student in the school, Kindergarten through 12th Grade, recently received a pack of 12 quality pencils through a program run by Pencils.com.

  Mr. Rohynn Gallagher and his student crew including — Gabrielis Ortiz, Michelle Velez, Ariana Velez, Avrien Segarra, and Davon Lewis — get ready to hand out a pack of pencils to all students at Community Academy of Philadelphia.

Mr. Rohynn Gallagher, Math teacher of 11th and 12th grades, is always looking for ways to enhance his students’ educational experience, and he fortunately “stumbled” across the website for Pencils.com when he was looking for supplies. The website was preparing to run a program that donates Pencils to school students.

Mr. Anthony Richichi, Upper School Vice Principal at CAP, said that with every purchase made by anyone on the website, a pack of pencils would be donated by the company to a designated school until the total number of students was reached.

Mr. Gallagher first made contact with Pencils.com in November of 2017 and got word in October of 2018 that Community Academy of Philadelphia would be chosen. Earlier this month, the Juniata News followed Mr. Gallagher as he and a crew of students handed out almost $4,000 worth of pencils to the school’s students.

“Every student’s going to get a nice new 12-pack of pencils to start off your second semester well, and make sure you’re prepared,” Gallagher told a class. “You have no excuses in math class to not have a pencil!”

The tour of every classroom was fun as students shouted ‘Thank you’. “It’s the simple things, sometimes,” Mr. Gallagher said as he left a room of applauding students.

Davon Lewis, a Senior, hands out packs of pencils at CAP.

 “One thing that I’ve noticed is many times a student will take care of something that they received as a gift better than something that they went to the store and bought. They do appreciate that caring.”

The cost of school supplies can become overwhelming, and every little bit of help counts. Many times teachers have to stock up on things like pencils at their own cost because they are imperative for the students to have in class. As Mr. Richichi said, pencils can be used up “crazy fast”!

A cart of pencils — gifts to all students from Pencils.com

Gallagher praised Pencils.com for helping to show students that there are people out there, who have never met them, that want to help them know that they are important. Richichi agreed, saying of CAP students, “They’re the best”.

First Grade Teacher Karen Neumer was happy to see her students receive pencils with erasers. “Erasers are a very precious commodity,” she said. Coincidentally, she was helping students work on strategies to show gratitude “and mean it” on this day. The students got their chance to put that into action!

Gallagher left many rooms exclaiming “Happy sharpening!”

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