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A Day Without Supplies: What would the classroom be like without school supplies?

Millions of children around the world have limited to no access to school supplies. On March 21, Villanova School of Business students are piloting a Simply Equal Education (SEE) initiative, “A Day Without Supplies”

VILLANOVA, PA. – Children in Equatorial Guinea, like millions of other children around the world, have limited to no access to school supplies. Although primary schooling is supposed to be free, the cost of supplies, fees, and uniforms often hinders learning in the classroom and sometimes even inhibits families from being able to send their children to school. 

As part of a Social Entrepreneurship and Microfinance course in the Villanova School of Business (VSB), student teams are working with new nonprofits to help them develop sustainable social ventures.  One of these non-profits, Simply Equal Education (SEE), seeks to engage students in the U.S. by creating an understanding of how difficult it is to learn without appropriate supplies. Further, SEE donates supplies and money to students and schools in the developing world who have no supplies at all. 

As part of an upcoming VSB Week event at Villanova University, business students are piloting a "Day Without Supplies," patterned after Tom's Shoes very successful "Day Without Shoes."  The goal is to see how this initiative works on a college campus and how SEE can roll out this activity across the nation. 

“This SEE initiative asks students and teachers to ditch school supplies for a day, or even part of the day, to bring awareness to the difficulties of learning in a classroom without any supplies,” said James W. Klingler, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Management and Entrepreneurship, Villanova School of Business. “If this effort is successful, the result would be that some students arrive in class without a pen, paper, notebook, or computer. And that faculty teaches for a day without using any supplies – no dry erase markers, computers, or books – just the knowledge they have.” 

 For more information on SEE go to 

An SEE information table will be set up in the Bartley Hall Atrium beginning Monday March 19, where students and faculty can find out more information or make donations for the purchase of supplies.

Simply Equal Education is a registered 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that works to help young people in the United States understand their role as active agents of social change and to help them develop relationships with their peers around the world. SEE supports children in Equatorial Guinea who have limited to no access to school supplies by providing the supplies they need to complete an education. For SEE it is not simply a piece of paper or a pencil, it is an opportunity for a child to write their name or color a picture and a chance for a child to see that they too can make a lasting difference in the world. 

About Villanova University: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's five colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.