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Family Resource Center at Cooley Elementary School accepts donation of school supplies from Rogelio Sanchez State Jail

(COOLEY ELEMENTARY SCHOOL — Sept. 8, 2023) — Families in South-Central El Paso are assured of continued access to school supplies to advance their children’s academic dreams thanks in part to a donation of more than 330 items to the El Paso ISD Family Resource Center housed at Cooley Elementary School.   

The Family Resource Center, which provides essential school supplies and other items to ensure that every student has the tools needed to succeed, accepted the donation of notebooks, pencils, art supplies and more from representatives of the Rogelio Sanchez State Jail during an event Friday, Sept. 8, at the campus. The items complement the free school supplies that El Paso ISD distributed to all students districtwide in early August. 

Teresa Martinez, the senior warden of the state jail, played a pivotal role in conducting a donation drive at her facility to collect these much-needed items. She joined Cooley Principal Elizabeth Prangner; Simon Chandler, El Paso ISD’s assistant director of Equity and Community Engagement; and several dozen students in a display of El Paso ISD’s commitment to establishing community partnerships, extended learning opportunities and a system of school supports. 

Prangner expressed her gratitude for the support. She said the supplies would be a boon for students who are in need throughout the year. 

“Our Family Resource Center is instrumental in bridging the gap for our students who face economic challenges,” Prangner said. “Thanks to the generosity of individuals like Teresa Martinez and our community, we can ensure that no child at Cooley Elementary goes without the necessary supplies to excel in their education.” 

Chandler’s Community Schools office oversees the Family Resource Centers. He echoed Prangner's sentiment.  

“Our goal is to create an equitable learning environment for all students,” he said. “The support we’ve received from Ms. Martinez and the entire community is a testament to the power of unity and empathy. It enables us to inspire and empower learners to thrive.” 

Martinez said her motivation for leading the donation drive at the Rogelio Sanchez State Jail came from a long-held desire to give back to the community she serves. She organized free on-site haircuts for children of officers and staff members at the facility who donated items.  

“Every child deserves the chance to reach their full potential, regardless of their circumstances,” she said. “I want to do all I can to set children on the right path to success. The response from my colleagues at the jail was incredible. It shows that this community possesses a strong desire to give back and make a positive impact." 

The Family Resource Center at Cooley is one of two maintained by Community Schools. The other is located at Guillen Middle School. The organization hopes to open two more centers in the near future at Wiggs Middle School and Canyon Hills Middle School.