December 1, 2022

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Berea School Supply Program aims to ease the return to

BEREA, Ohio — Students will be headed back to the classroom in late August, and the list of the things they’ll need is long.

The National Retail Federation says families with school-age children will spend an average of more than $840 on school supplies this year.

For some local families, that’s a prohibitively heavy burden. That’s why Berea Community Outreach wants to lend a helping hand by way of its School Supply Program.

“This is for kids 18 and younger whose families come to the food pantry and for others, too, who may not be coming to the pantry,” said Berea Senior and Social Services Administrator Natalie Guzzo.

Guzzo and Berea Program Coordinator Margarette Key manage the School Supply Program with the assistance of several volunteers.

“We’ve been doing this for about five years,” Guzzo said.

The program’s success ultimately depends upon the largess of residents, as well as local businesses and organizations that are willing to donate the needed school supplies.

These include pencils and colored pencils, packs of loose-leaf paper, spiral notebooks, folders, highlighters, headphones or earbuds, supply bags/pouches (for pencils and such), facial tissues, glue sticks, pens, 1-1/2-inch binders, five-tab dividers, graphing paper, composition notebooks, sticky notes, 3-by-5-inch note cards, mini whiteboards, disinfecting wipes and scissors.

All-new items are appreciated.

Take items to be donated to Vivian L. Smith Elementary School, 535 Wyleswood Drive in Berea, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

“Bring the items to the school’s main entrance (use the door on the left)” Guzzo said, “and please call 440-826-4891 to let us know when you are coming,”

The deadline for donating school supplies is Aug. 16 — one week prior to the start of Berea City School District classes on Aug. 23.

Open house set: With the beginning of a new school year on the horizon, Polaris Career Center, 7285 Old Oak Blvd. in Middleburg Heights, will host an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Aug. 4.

High school seniors, recent graduates and adults who are exploring job training and career opportunities are invited to attend.

“Now more than ever, job seekers need the right skills to stay ahead of the competition,” a Polaris spokesman said, explaining that the open house will feature “meet-and-greet, tours and an introduction to new program options.”

Polaris Career Center’s 14 Adult Job & Career Training Programs aim to help get students on the fast track to exciting new careers.

Visitors will be able to explore adult job and career training program opportunities and learn more about financial aid options, the tuition payment plan and federal student loans available to qualified applicants.

Polaris instructors will also be on hand to answer specific program and career-related questions.

Featured programs will include Automotive Service Technician; Building Maintenance; Cardiographic Technician; Cosmetology Academy; Dental Assisting; Early Child Care Education/Child Development Associated (CDA); Heating, Ventilating, Air-Conditioning and Refrigeration (HVAC/R); Manicurist; Medical Assistant; Medical Billing and Coding; Phlebotomy Certification; Police Academy; Precision/CNC Machine Technology; and Welding.

Popular programs fill up quickly, so interested students are encouraged to attend the open house to begin enrollment.

Admission to this Polaris event is free. For additional details or to arrange a personal tour, call Theresa at 440-891-7697 or email [email protected], or visit

All attendees must park in Polaris’ side parking lot and enter through the school’s atrium.

Dean’s List: Theresa Candow of Berea has qualified for the dean’s list for the spring semester at Western Carolina University.

To qualify for the dean’s list, a student must earn a grade point average of 3.5 or higher while completing a minimum of 12 credit hours.

Habitat help: Crossroads Missions’ Help Build Hope is partnering with the Berea United Methodist Church, 170 Seminary St., July 15-16 to frame a house for a future Habitat for Humanity home.

Individuals, families, businesses and groups are invited to take part. The project is open to everyone 5 years and older. Register online at

Braves football remembered: Anyone connected to the Berea High School Braves football program is invited to an informal gathering at 2 p.m. July 16 at Tony K’s Bar & Grille patio, 841 W. Bagley Road.

Former players, coaches, cheerleaders, trainers, fans and supporters are welcome to attend.

Bags to bedrolls: A group of Berea women is meeting regularly to transform plastic shopping bags into bedrolls and blankets for people experiencing homelessness.

The bags are cut into strips, then crocheted into 3-foot-by-6-foot blankets.

And more plastic bags are needed. Drop them off at the Berea Recreation Center, 451 Front St. Ask at the front desk for the drop-off box.

Triple gold: Bill Long of Berea has won his third gold medal at the National Senior Games in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Long won gold medals in two previous Senior Olympics, in the 10K with a running time of 44 minutes, 4 seconds and in the 5K, where he placed fifth with a time of 21 minutes ,10 seconds.

SCAN Hunger Center Pantry: 39 W. Bagley Road, Williamsport Plaza. 440-260-7226. Open 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second Friday of the month and 4 to 7 p.m. on the fourth Friday.

Street Ministries pantry: 1480 Bagley Road, 440-239-0549. Open noon to 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Rise in Love: Free hot meal from 2 to 4 p.m. on the third Sunday of the month at St. Adalbert Catholic Church, Keller Center, 66 Adalbert St. Eat-in or Carry Out. The next meal is on July 17th.

Free Community Meal: St. Paul Lutheran Church, 276 E. Bagley Road, served from 5 to 6 p.m. on the second and last Wednesdays of the month. Drive-up only. The next meal is Wednesday, and then on July 27th..

People’s Community Church pantry: 628 Wesley Drive, 440-234-0609. Open 10 a.m. to noon on the third Saturday of the month. The next open pantry will be Saturday and then on July 16th.

Pet Food Pantry: Animal Rescue Friends, 10015 E. River Road, Columbia Station, 10 a.m. to noon every Sunday. Contact 440-234-2034 or [email protected] for more information.

Mini pantries: There are two Little Free Pantries located near People’s Community Church, 628 Wesley Drive, and Cuyahoga County Library’s Berea branch, at 7 Berea Commons. The Prospect Pantry is at the corner of Prospect Street and Jacqueline Drive.

Senior luncheons: Monthly Seniors Luncheon at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 276 E. Bagley Road in Berea. Lunches are $5 and are served at noon on the second Tuesday of every month. The next luncheon is July 12th. For more information, call Michelle Skutt at 440-234-6080.

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