In 2006, a group of concerned citizens and community leaders decided to address the issue of students going to school without school supplies and teachers using their own funds to provide for the students in their classrooms. A Teacher Free Store Steering Committee was organized in Dayton, Ohio by representatives from potential sponsoring and participating organizations, including the Mathile Family Foundation, The Dayton Foundation, and Goodwill Easter Seals Miami Valley (GESMV). After working with a consultant to develop a comprehensive Strategic Business and Operating Feasibility Study, the committee resolved to establish Crayons to Classrooms.
- By December 2007, a board of directors had been established and a development plan had been drafted.
- By January 2008, articles of incorporation were completed. On March 20, 2008, Crayons to Classrooms received certification from the IRS as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.
- In 2008, we built out our first location in the GESMV building on Kuntz Road in Dayton.
- We opened our doors to teachers of eight pilot schools on January 15, 2009.
- Just 2 years after opening, in February of 2011, we reached our Million Dollar Moment, distributing $1M worth of school supplies.
- In August 2016, we moved our operations to another GESMV location at 1750 Woodman Drive, Dayton, continuing our collaborative partnership. This location provides 13,300 square feet of warehouse storage, retail store space, and office space.
- In October of 2016 we celebrated the distribution of $10 million worth of school supplies to Dayton-area teachers.
- In the fall of 2017, we added our 100th school.
Crayons to Classrooms has hosted more than 20,000 shopping visits for teachers from over 100 schools. We have distributed useful classroom materials valued at over $13.3 million. We continue to increase the number of schools we serve as resources allow – our service area encompasses Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, Montgomery, Preble, and Warren (Franklin City Schools and Springboro City Schools) counties.