By NewsLine Staff
mail@floridanewsline.com

This summer, brothers Brewer and Maddox Sicilian sponsored a service project and collected school supplies for INK! (Investing In Kids), a non-profit, which leads efforts to directly benefit the educators and students within the school district. The brothers specifically focused on INK!’s Tools 4 Schools program. According to INK! Executive Director Donna Lueders, on average, local teachers spend more than $800 of their own money purchasing school supplies for students and the classroom. The purpose of Tools 4 Schools is to minimize expenses for educators with a goal of serving approximately 3,000 teachers and 48,000 students countywide.

Jim Wheeler, INK! operations and student programs director, added that at the end of the 2021 – 22 school year, INK!’s Tools 4 School program reported record numbers of supplies delivered to teachers in every public school in St. Johns County. INK! filled and delivered nearly 1,400 teacher-requested orders of school supplies and educational materials with a total value of more than $101,000. 

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This service project was started by Brewer Sicilian, captain, the summer of the pandemic. He repeated his service project last summer. This summer his brother, Maddox Sicilian, co-captain, joined in the efforts. Together they collected more than 3,200 school supplies for INK! through donations from friends, family, and neighbors. 

Brewer Sicilian said, “My mom was an educator. I saw her spend money on supplies for her classroom and students. When I found out that INK! assists teachers with classroom needs, I wanted to help stock their supplies.” 

The Tools 4 Schools program is made possible by annual donations from supporters, including Publix, Staples, and The Bailey Group, as well as local businesses and service projects such as these. The supplies will be available to teachers in St. Johns County starting in September. 

Maddox Sicilian said, “We know we aren’t there yet. But our desire is that no teacher will have to use their own money to pay for classroom supplies.” 

During the school year, teachers can order supplies online through the INK! website and orders are filled and delivered by INK! to their schools at no cost. For more information on Tools 4 Schools or to coordinate a community drive effort, contact Jim Wheeler at (904) 547-7121 or email james.wheeler@stjohns.k12.fl.us. 

The St. Johns County Education Foundation, which operates as Investing in Kids (INK!), provides innovative resources to support academic success for all St. Johns County public schools to benefit more than 48,000 students and approximately 3,000 teachers. The office is located at 1 Christopher St. in St. Augustine. Contact Donna Lueders at (904) 547-7120, email Donna.Lueders@stjohns.k12.fl.us or visit ink-stjohns.org for more information.

Photo courtesy Jennifer Sicilian
Jim Wheeler of INK! with Brewer and Maddox Sicilian

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