The Charlotte Convention Center and Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority have found an easy way to help school-age children.

The convention center and CRVA are working with Classroom Central, a nonprofit organization that provides students at low-income schools in the Charlotte region with donated school supplies and classroom products via a free store for teachers. In its first seven years, the organization has served more than 80,000 students in 119 schools and distributed more than $17 million in school supplies.

When events end, the convention center often is left with surplus supplies such as notepads, pens, pencils, and registration bags. The convention center is giving meeting planners the option to donate exhibitors’ extra materials to Classroom Central. For example, approximately 1,200 attendee satchels left over from a recent meeting were donated.

“Our meeting planners are increasingly environmentally conscious, as well as interested in doing the right thing for the community, and this is yet another way we can help them ‘green’ their meetings and invest in their host city,” said Tim Newman, CEO of the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority.

Michelle Daley, vice president of operations at Classroom Central, said, “Classroom Central is extremely excited about partnering with the Charlotte Convention Center to divert items from landfills and provide the teachers and students we serve with nontraditional materials that can be used in the classroom to enhance the learning process.”