Royal Oak High School students Nadia Weller, left, and Danya Sahib, right, hold up donations of school supplies that they are collecting to create individual kits for each of the more than 500 kindergartners in the Royal Oak Schools district.

Royal Oak High School students Nadia Weller, left, and Danya Sahib, right, hold up donations of school supplies that they are collecting to create individual kits for each of the more than 500 kindergartners in the Royal Oak Schools district.

Photo provided by Nadia Weller


Teens create ‘Kits 4 Kids’ to help Royal Oak kindergarteners

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published August 11, 2020

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ROYAL OAK — Two friends who will enter their senior year at Royal Oak High School this fall recently launched a nonprofit endeavor called Kits 4 Kids, in which they are soliciting donations to create a school supply kit for each kindergartner in the Royal Oak Schools district.

Danya Sahib, 16, and Nadia Weller, 17, are looking to raise $5,000 to create 525 kits that each will contain No. 2 pencils, two types of crayons, glue sticks, dry-erase markers and headphones contained in a pencil case.

The pair said that, even before the onset of COVID-19, they knew they wanted to complete a charitable project together before graduating high school. They are both members of the National Honor Society, and Sahib is the secretary of Interact club, a facet of Rotary International.

“The opportunity kind of presented itself,” Sahib said. “Once the whole crisis set in, the school started facing budget cuts and we realized that the elementary schools probably are not going to provide the supplies they usually have in bins for everyone to share.”

She said the goal was to take some of the burden off teachers and parents and to provide individual kits for each young learner in an effort to add an extra layer of safety during the global pandemic.

Sahib and Weller worked with Keller Elementary School Principal Marcie Dryden to determine which items to include in the kits. They created a GoFundMe page for monetary donations to the cause, as well as an Amazon wish list for those who wish to directly purchase items.

To donate to the GoFundMe page, visit gofundme.com and search “Help buy school supplies for Royal Oak students.” To purchase items on the Amazon wish list, visit amazon.com and search for “Kits 4 Kids (Royal Oak Schools)” under “Find A List or Registry.” Enter Keller Elementary School as the shipping destination.

Donations will be accepted through Aug. 25.

Royal Oak Schools Superintendent Mary Beth Fitzpatrick said she was excited about the helpful initiative and that Sahib and Weller have been passionate about the project since their first conversation.

“In June, I was contacted by two Royal Oak High School students with an idea that would assist the district with looming budget cuts and provide a safer environment for students as they use supplies during the COVID-19 health crisis,” Fitzpatrick said. “They have taken charge of the details and I’m impressed with their enthusiasm, organization and willingness to give back to Royal Oak Schools.”

Sahib and Weller said they are using Keller Elementary School as a staging ground to pick up and assemble the kits. While the project has been a lot of work, they said they are excited to see it pay off.

“We are extremely fortunate to have this project in our district as community members, parents, students and staff work together to support our kids,” Fitzpatrick said.

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