A new school year brings with it a renewed sense of hope, and, of course, that familiar first-day-of-school excitement.  

As students prepare to head back to the classroom after more than a year of challenges, Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI) is once again hosting its annual school supply drive, from August 3rd through September 15th, to support some of those with the greatest need – homeless and underserved students throughout Rhode Island. The goal of the supply drive is to help close the opportunity gap for these students by making sure they start the school year with the necessary supplies. 

“This year the need is even greater as many families continue to navigate the financial challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Margaret Holland-McDuff, CEO of Family Service of Rhode Island in a statement. “For students whose families cannot afford supplies, coming to school unprepared can create social and emotional challenges, in addition to putting kids at a disadvantage for learning.” 

At FSRI, we feel it is both an honor and privilege to give back to the communities we serve. After all, “people helping people” is the foundation of our core values. It is in this spirit, we have teamed up with Starkweather & ShepleyChase BankClaris Vision, and the Rhode Island State Police. Individuals interested in supporting the supply drive are encouraged to purchase from our online wish list, which will automatically be delivered to our offices. 

“We are thrilled to be partnering with Family Service Rhode Island for their back-to-school drive. Our hope is that we can bring some joy to families who are in need of assistance for the back-to-school season this year, and to form a long-lasting relationship with this great organization,” noted Stefan Petrella, Vice President of Starkweather & Shepley insurance in a statement. 

Suggested Supplies

  • Children’s face masks
  • Backpacks
  • Composition notebooks (wide ruled)
  • Spiral notebooks
  • Construction paper
  • Copy paper
  • Pencils
  • Pens
  • Dry-erase markers
  • Colored pencils
  • Markers
  • Crayons
  • Highlighters
  • Post-it notes
  • Glue sticks
  • Tape rolls
  • Student scissors
  • Erasers

See their Amazon Wishlist.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.