Friends of Adaire resorts to creative way to help school

Alexander Adaire School in Fishtown has been running out of basic supplies, such as paper. PHOTO COURTESY OF BETH GILBERT-CROWELL

By Ali Eaves

Star Managing Editor

About halfway through last school year, Alexander Adaire School ran out of paper.

It’s not as though school officials could just buy more — there was no more money.

Sadly, this has become commonplace in the last two years, Principal Jenette Oddo said. Like many Philadelphia public schools, Adaire regularly runs out of pencils, paper, folders and other basic supplies — not to mention pricier items such as calculators.

The school has had to reduce the number of parent newsletters that it sends out simply because there isn’t enough paper to print them on.

“These are such basic things that teachers are usually buying themselves,” Oddo said. “It’s very sad that it can’t be provided for by the district.”

Friends of Adaire, a volunteer group that formed late last year to support the K-8 school at 1300 E. Palmer St. in Fishtown, came up with a creative way to help: they made a wishlist on Amazon. It’s a registry where teachers can list their supply needs, and anyone can help with a few clicks and a few bucks.

Since the Amazon boxes have started arriving, “the climate of the building has definitely taken a positive turn,” Oddo said. “Teachers get these little Amazon boxes that show up every day and they want to know who it’s for. It’s like Christmas.”

Items on the wishlist range from a four-pack of glue sticks for $2.40 to a case of paper for $39.99.

“It’s an immediate way to help,” said Beth Gilbert-Crowell, a member of Friends of Adaire.

Other Friends of Adaire initiatives include an upcoming school beautification project and coordinating more volunteers for lunchtime, start of day and dismissal.

To get involved with Friends of Adaire, visit To buy an item on the wishlist, visit the website and click on the “Friends of Adaire Wishlist” link. ••