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KidSmart empowers children in need to succeed in   school by providing essential tools for learning.

KidSmart Frequently Asked Questions

KidSmart opened its doors in 2002 to improve the educational opportunities offered to tens of thousands of local children who live in poverty in our community. Since opening, KidSmart has supplied hundreds of thousands of kids in need with $70 million worth of free schools supplies. Through a successful community-wide collaboration, KidSmart has equipped our children, who are at the greatest risk, with the tools they desperately need to succeed in school.

What is Push for Pencils/Push for Change?

KidSmart’s Push for Pencils, the largest drive of its kind in Missouri, is a community-wide school drive which takes place each July/August. The movement is grassroots and has included more than 186 participating businesses, 50,000+ employees and individuals throughout our community. Each year, 500,000 essential school supplies are collected, and then directly distributed, to thousands of local children through the KidSmart Free Educational Supply Store. More than 90,000 local, school-aged children live in poverty and often attend school without basic supplies. Supporters of this campaign believe that every child deserves a chance to have the learning tools and educational experiences they need to succeed in school and thus throughout life.

When is the Push for Pencils Campaign?

July 19th — Aug 31st

As a company drive coordinator what is my role?

KidSmart asks that as the drive coordinator, you help in the following areas:

  • Coordinate the drive within your company
    • Select dates for your drive
    • Arrange for the supplies to be collected
    • Arrange for the supplies to be sorted and tallied
    • Arrange for the supplies to be delivered to KidSmart
  • Promote the drive with your employees

How long should our drive be?

As long as the entire summer, to one day!

What are the most needed items?

Pencils, paper, markers, crayons, and glue are the top five (5) most needed school supplies, but many other school supplies and educational resources are also always in demand.

Where will the supplies go? How will they be distributed?

This year’s supplies will primarily be distributed through the KidSmart On the Go! program, through our Pop Up stores, and direct school distribution.

Is KidSmart accepting items other than school supplies?

KidSmart’s PUSH is for the basic school supplies such as paper, pencils, markers, crayons and glue which are the supplies needed most by the children whom KidSmart serves. They are supplies that are consumable by nature and without them a child faces an obstacle nearly impossible to overcome.

Can financial donations be made?

Yo Yes! KidSmart is proud of the fact that 93% of our donations support the KidSmart Free Store Program. 7% is invested for fundraising and administrative expenses. For every $1 donated, KidSmart is able to leverage that financial support and distribute $5 worth of free school supplies and educational resources to the tens of thousands of children we serve. That’s a powerful 5 time return on investment!

How will the supplies get to KidSmart?

KidSmart relies on company employee volunteers to transport the donated supplies to our Free Educational Store. This is an additional volunteer and donation opportunity for someone within your organization.

If our company has multiple locations will KidSmart pick up our supplies?

Again, KidSmart relies on kindness and support of our corporate employee volunteers to ensure that the supplies get delivered to our Free Educational Supply Store so that we may distribute them to our tens of thousands of kids in need.

Are there any volunteer opportunities?

Yes! You may create volunteer opportunities within your company drive: supply sorting, counting, packing, and delivery partners. Also, KidSmart offers corporate team building opportunities. Contact KidSmart at 314-291-6211 or email us at for more information.

What is a Push for Pencils Community Partner?

Community Partners equip tens of thousands of local kids in need by hosting a supply drive throughout the month of August.

Back to School Community Partner Includes:

  • Branded drop off containers for all retail locations (includes corporate logo on boxes).
  • “Push for Change” Partner and contribute financially in one of many ways.
  • Corporate Volunteer Opportunity to deliver & distribute school supplies with KidSmart’s On the Go! program.
  • Corporate Volunteer Opportunity to deliver & distribute school supplies to kids in a KidSmart classroom during KidSmart’s Back to School Celebration

Recognition Includes:

  • Logo included on KidSmart’s website as a Community Partner.
  • Cross promotion from KidSmart on social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Push for Pencil’s Website, etc.

KidSmart equips more than 75,000 local students in need with free school supplies to succeed in school. KidSmart relies on supplies donated by individuals, businesses, and groups across the St. Louis area. Since opening in 2002, KidSmart has distributed more than $70 million in school supplies. Our goal is to reach all 90,000 students.
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