Tools for Learning

Providing free school supplies to teachers at high poverty schools

Mission Statement

Pencils & Paper serves the educational and creative needs of children in the Greater Rochester Area by providing free school supplies to teachers at high poverty schools.

Pencils & Paper 

Over 50% of Rochester’s children live in poverty. Rochester's child poverty rate is the second-highest among U.S. cities with a population of 200,000 or more.
It is hard to imagine a child who does not have a pencil and paper to complete basic daily lessons, and yet every day in public, private, charter and parochial schools in our community, children of all ages attend class without the most basic supplies needed to be successful in school. Moreover, dedicated teachers often spend between $500 and $1,200 of their own money each school year to insure that the students in their classrooms have the tools they need to learn. 

We are Grateful to our Major Donors

  • Max A. Adler Charitable Foundation
  • Anonymous
  • EMCO Carpeting
  • Excellus BlueCross BlueShield
  • Max & Marian Farash Charitable Foundation
  • Harold S. Feinbloom Charitable Lead Trust
  • Goldberg Family Foundation
  • William and Shelia Konar Foundation
  • Rochester Area Community Foundation - NextGen Giving Circle
  • Samloff Family Fund
  • John & Jayne Summers Foundation, Inc.
  • Karyn H. Sykes Memorial Fund
  • TaGex Brands
  • Louis S. & Molly B. Wolk Foundaton
  • Wegmans
  • Fred & Floy Willmott Foundation

Volunteer Opportunities

Thank you for your interest in volunteering at Pencils & Paper.  There is a lot to do to help provide basic learning tools to kids in need in our community!
Ways for Volunteers to help:

Store Helpers – Help with re-stocking shelves and teacher check-in and check-out

Tuesdays   3 pm – 6 pm
Thursdays 3 pm – 6 pm
Saturdays  9 am – Noon (Select)

Inventory Helpers – Help sort product and prepare the store for teacher shopping
Monday – Thursday
10 am – 4 pm

Warehouse Helpers – Check in new inventory and help with warehouse organization
Monday – Thursday
10 am – 4 pm

To join us in the effort, please contact:

Howard Grossman, Program Coordinator at or (585) 736-4610

Mandy Hartman, Volunteer Coordinator at or (585) 736-4610

Register online to become a Pencils & Paper volunteer by clicking on the heart. 


Online Volunteer Application


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Frequently Asked Questions

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