Communities in Schools offering supplies
By Sarah Campbell
More than 20,000 students will return to school exactly one month from today and local organizations hope to fill the backpacks of those in need by collecting everything from paper to calculators.
Communities in Schools of Rowan County, a dropout prevention organization, wants to help at least 3,500 students.
Vicky Slusser, the organization’s executive director, said school supply giveaways are an essential part of the community, especially considering the fact that more than 60 percent of students in the Rowan-Salisbury School System are considered economically disadvantaged.
“We have many children who may be starting the school year without needed school supplies,” she said. “If a child starts the year on the same footing as their peers they are more likely to be successful in school.”
Slusser said the district has done a good job of taking some of the burden off families by cutting down the amount of required supplies, but the basics are still needed.
“Anyone who has either taught or volunteered in a school knows there are still items that are needed to be successful,” she said. “Paper, pencils, pens and binders as well as folders, glue and crayons are still an essential part of being in the classroom.”
The organization will benefit from a number of drives throughout the area.
Walmart’s Build a Backpack campaign kicked off this week and will run through Aug. 31. Supplies can be dropped off at both the Salisbury and Kannapolis stores.
A drive called Staples for Students is also under way at the Staples store through Sept. 15.
Communities in Schools also has partnered with WSOC-TV for the annual School Tools campaign. Dropoff locations include all local F&M Bank branches in Salisbury, Granite Quarry, Faith, Rockwell, China Grove and Kannapolis.
Rowan County residents can leave school supplies at their mailboxes Aug. 18 and their postal carrier will pick them up.
Anyone who brings school supplies to the Aug. 17 Kannapolis Intimidators game dubbed School Tools night will receive free admission.
The fourth annual Pencils for Pupils drive is also under way. Dropoff bins are located in the Salisbury Post lobby, SweetFrog frozen yogurt and all F&M Bank branches.
All school supplies are welcome, but Slusser said donations of backpacks, three-ring binders, rulers, glue sticks, markers, highlighters, calculators and safety scissors are typically low.
Communities in Schools will distribute the supplies from 10 a.m. to noon, or until supplies last, Saturday, Aug. 25 at the First Baptist Church, 220 N. Fulton St.
Slusser said any Rowan County resident can come to the distribution event to collect supplies, but both parent and child must be in attendance.
“One hundred percent of what is collected here in Rowan County will stay in Rowan County to help our children,” she said.
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There are a number of other school supply drives taking place in the community.
The Hairston Funeral Home Honors/Scholarship Committee is sponsoring a Back-to-School Give Away and Hot Dog Sale, Saturday, Aug. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the lawn of Hairston Funeral Home, 703 S. Main St.
The cost for a hot dog with drink is $2.25. Proceeds from the hot dog sale are earmarked for the scholarship fund.
School supply donations are being accepted and may be dropped off at the funeral home between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, until Aug. 3.
Donations are being accepted now at town of East Spencer’s municipal building for the third annual Workers of the Vineyard Back to School clothing and food giveaway.
The giveaway will start at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 18 at Royal Giants Park.
Organizer Mike Mitchell said almost 300 students received supplies last year and he’s hoping this year’s event will be just as successful.
Mitchell said a shuttle will be provided for Rowan County residents who don’t have transportation to the park.
“We’ll pick up anyone who needs a ride,” he said.
Those who need a lift are asked to call Mitchell at 704-245-0729 or Darryl Jackson at 704-213-6120 before Aug. 18.
Jackson, another event organizer, said he encourages everyone to come out that day.
“Our main purpose is the help ease the burden of parents having to use the money out of their pockets,” he said. “This will help them save money to use in other places like buying food and clothes.”
Loose leaf notebook paper (wide and college rule)
Hand sanitizer (without alcohol)
Wet wipes (unscented))
Old (clean) socks
TI 83/84 calculators
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.
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