“Tools for Teachers” Collects Thousands of Supplies for Educators

ryan lingle

The “Tools for Teachers” Donation Drive to support educators in Shenandoah County Public Schools proved to be an overwhelming success. The effort was a collaboration between United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley, Just Because,
George’s Inc., and the Shenandoah County Chamber of Commerce.

The groups delivered mounds of supplies to each of the schools and announced the results of the drive: In total, the community donated over 3,000 items, valued at more than $7,000! In addition, they received $1,300 in cash
On September 8th, the groups were recognized by the Shenandoah County School Board for hosting
the drive and presented $130 checks to each of the 10 school principals.

The funding will allow the schools to purchase specific supplies requested by teachers. The top items collected include: 772
packs of colored pencils, 431 packs of markers, 336 packs of glue sticks, 234 spiral notebooks and
193 packs of pens.
“It was truly inspiring to see the community give so generously, “said Jennifer Hall, Senior Director of
Community Investment at United Way of Northern Shenandoah Valley.

“Our annual campaign themethis year is ‘Small Act Big Impact’ and this project is proof that it works! Every person who donated $1 or a pack of pens, collectively worked together to make a big impact and we are so grateful.”
According to a survey the national nonprofit AdoptAClassroom.org, teachers spend an average of
$750 of their own money each year to help students be successful in the classroom.

With inflation costs, that number is expected to be even higher this year.
This was the first drive of its kind designed exclusively to aid teachers in Shenandoah County Public
Schools and was the idea of staff at George’s Inc. who wanted to work with community partners to
achieve a greater impact.
“We want our teachers to know they are valued and appreciated by our community,” said Billie Jo
Espino, Human Resources Supervisor at George’s Inc. “George’s is a family-owned business and we
are deeply committed to supporting families and education. This is one of the many ways we are
giving back to support our local community.”

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.


FRPD hosts Coffee with a Cop

police radios

Don’t miss Coffee with a Cop Wednesday October 5th from 8 to 11.

Come enjoy some coffee and conversation with Front Royal Police Officers.

It is a great opportunity to get to know our law enforcement and learn more about our community.

It will be held at 215 E. Main St. Front Royal.

For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.

Rep. Price and Senator Warner Applaud Passage of the Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act

Congressman David Price (D-NC), and Senator Mark R. Warner (D-VA) commend the passage of their bipartisan, bicameral legislation, the Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act, which will now head to President Biden’s desk to be signed into law.

“I introduced this bill in direct response to a constituent’s experience with a joint consolidation loan for which he remained wholly responsible for after a divorce. I am delighted by the passage of this common-sense bill that will bring immense relief to borrowers who are victims of abusive or uncommunicative spouses,” said Congressman David Price. “For decades, these borrowers have been trapped, with no legal options available, and this bill will give them the ability to regain their financial freedom. I look forward to this bill arriving on the President’s desk and delivering for America’s federal student debt borrowers.”

“For too long, individuals have been tied to abusive or unresponsive ex-partners through joint student loans,” said Senator Warner. “This legislation offers financial freedom to those who have spent decades unfairly held liable for their former partner’s debt. I am thrilled to see the House of Representatives pass this legislation and look forward to getting it in front of President Biden as quickly as possible to start offering relief to borrowers.”

From January 1, 1993 until June 30, 2006, married couples were able to combine their student loan debt into joint consolidation loans.  Both borrowers agreed at the time to be jointly liable for repayment, which proved problematic if they wanted to separate the loans.  Congress eliminated the joint consolidation program effective July 1, 2006, but did not provide a means of severing existing loans, even in the event of domestic violence, economic abuse, or an unresponsive partner.  As a result, there are borrowers nationwide who remain liable for this consolidated debt without legal options for relief.

The Joint Consolidation Loan Separation (JCLS) Act would allow both borrowers to submit a joint application to the Department of Education (ED) to split their joint consolidated loan into two separate federal direct loans.  It would also allow one borrower to submit a separate application if they are experiencing domestic or economic abuse or are unable to reasonably reach the other borrower.  The remainder of the joint consolidated loan will be split proportionally.

While the universe of borrowers still making payments on a joint consolidation loan is relatively small, this legislation would greatly benefit the individual borrowers who are most in need of relief (including victims of abuse and those who are unable to get in touch with their ex-spouse).

This bill has the support of the National Network to End Domestic Violence, National Consumer Law Center, American Federation of Teachers, North Carolina Coalition against Domestic Violence, and the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance. This bill was included in the Education and Labor Committee’s Higher Education Act (HEA) Reauthorization during the last two Congresses.


A fact sheet on the Joint Consolidation Loan Separation Act can be found here, and the bill text can be found here.


For more news from across the Shenandoah Valley, click here.