George Avgares, director of the Colorado Student Care Student Learning Center, delivers school supplies to Rebecca Nicholson's third-grade class at Soda Creek Elementary School.

Photo by John F. Russell

George Avgares, director of the Colorado Student Care Student Learning Center, delivers school supplies to Rebecca Nicholson's third-grade class at Soda Creek Elementary School.

Routt County school supply drive gains traction in 2nd year

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Soda Creek Elementary School kindergartner Maizey Bringuel stands by a tub filled with school supplies that was donated by the Colorado Student Care Steamboat Learning Center. Instead of birthday presents, Maizey asked guests at her birthday party to donate money and items to the school suppy drive.

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Students in Rebecca Nicholson's third-grade class look at school supplies donated by the Colorado Student Care Steamboat Learning Center to Soda Creek Elementary School on Thursday. George Avgares, director of the program, which prepares students for college, helped run and organize the supply drive earlier this year and delivered the supplies to the classroom.

— When the 35-gallon tub rolled into the classroom Thursday morning, a crowd of curious third-graders instantly rose and gathered around it.

With "oohs" and "aahs," the Soda Creek Elementary School students picked up the Spider-Man backpacks and new boxes of Crayola markers that filled the tub to its brim.

But they looked a little disappointed when they found out they couldn't keep all of the school supplies for themselves.

“It's important for you to share all of this stuff,” George Avgares told the students after he wheeled the tub into the classroom.

Avgares, director of the Colorado Student Care Steamboat Learning Center that offers pre-college tutoring to Routt County students, then introduced a shy kindergarten student to the class.

Avgares told the students 5-year-old Maizey Bringuel was a key donor to the annual school supply drive that netted $4,000 worth of supplies and donations this year that will be used in Routt County schools.

“Instead of getting presents at her recent birthday party, Maizey asked her friends to bring school supplies,” Avgares said. “She's very generous. She could have gotten a lot of presents instead.”

Avgares is in his second school year as school supply deliverer. He puts on the supply drive with the help of Walmart, Alpine Bank, Routt County United Way and Partners in Routt County.

Last year, he delivered $2,500 worth of supplies to the elementary and middle schools in Hayden, Steamboat and South Routt. The goal this year was to collect $5,000 in supplies and donations.

“We fell short, but we still came out with a lot (of supplies) despite the economy not being the greatest,” Avgares said. “It says a lot about Steamboat's philanthropic commitment to the community.”

The increase in donations allowed the drive to expand this year to the North Routt Community Charter School in Clark.

Avgares planned to finish the delivery of the eight tubs of school supplies Friday in Hayden.

“The two minutes back there makes it all worth it,” he said, referring to the quick stop he made to drop off supplies in Rebecca Nicholson's classroom.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com

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