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Mister and Miss School of Education Host a Back-to-School Drive for Howard Middle School

Re’Jon Jones and Anaiyah Boone-Douglass pose for a photo. Photo Courtesy of Re’Jon Jones.

Mister and Miss School of Education hosted a back-to-school drive for Howard University Middle School of Mathematics & Science students. The two School of Education student leaders collected school supply and monetary donations for the sixth, seventh and eighth graders. 

The drive kicked off on Aug. 17 and ended on Sept. 1 as students interested in donating were instructed to leave their donated supplies at the front desk of Howard Plaza East Towers. While many of the donations were monetary, many students also contributed back-to-school supplies for the drive.

Re’Jon Jones, a junior English major, secondary education minor from Camden, New Jersey currently serves as Mister School of Education for the 2022-2023 school year. 

“The whole thought behind the back-to-school drive was to help families within the [D.C.] community with the financial burden that school supplies sometimes have,” he said.  “Especially if a family has multiple children like my family did growing up, it’s a lot to have to purchase school supplies and school supplies are something that you need.” 

Miss School of Education, Anaiyah Boone-Douglas, a junior honors elementary education major and psychology minor, added, “I would say the School of Education has prepped us to see how minority students– the things that they deal with and things like that –how that can affect their educational experience. As Mister and Miss School of Education, we wanted to be able to alleviate stress and have students focus on their education because we want to remind them of all the places they can go when they do their coursework and soak it in.”

While the initial goal was to donate school supplies to middle schoolers in Washington, D.C. public schools, Jones revealed that many of the schools had already implemented back-to-school drives for their students. He was then redirected to the Howard University Middle School of Mathematics & Science, a public charter school that sits on Howard’s campus next to Alain Locke Hall and across from the School of Education. 

Howard University Middle School of Mathematics & Science. Photo Courtesy of Eliana Lewis

“I kind of like this idea better,” Jones said, “because a lot of the low-income – or who you know is low-income – they get all the school-supplies drives, and our Howard University middle school isn’t necessarily a public school so people automatically assume those families can afford…”

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Stacy Simon, executive assistant to Dr. Scott J. Dantley, praised the efforts of Boone-Douglas and Jones, stating that the “dynamic duo” were a “good blueprint for what the School of Education represents.”

Kyndal Evans, a junior elementary education major, echoed similar sentiments. “It means a lot personally. It means that they care about the D.C. public schools around and showing them that Howard cares for them. It means a lot.”

Hearing about the drive directly from Miss School of Education, Evans knew she wanted to contribute to help not just the students, but the teachers as well. 

“In order for teachers to make sure their students are getting a good education, they need materials,” she said. “I donated books and those books had Black kids on them. Schools that are more urbanized need books that students can relate to. Giving back to teachers seems like the best option….helping them and their pockets out.”

The support from the School of Education students is something Simon hopes other schools on Howard’s campus will implement as well. “It’s positive. Can you imagine if each school had their hands in it? It could grow and be even bigger than what it already is,” Simon said. 

Howard is currently the only HBCU to have a charter school directly on its campus. The Howard University Middle School of Mathematics & Science supports students in grades sixth through eighth and offers a STEM-based approach to curriculum. 

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According to the school’s official website, “Rather than teach the four disciplines as separate and discrete subjects, our STEM curriculum integrates them into a cohesive learning model based on real-world applications.”

Copy edited by Jadyn Barnett

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