It’s the time of the year when parents and kids are making a list and checking it twice.
No, it’s not Christmas. It’s back to school! The schools have issued their school supply lists and parents throughout Candler County are trying to figure out how to make sure the book bags of their children are stuffed with the correct school supplies as requested by their teachers.
Due to the economic downturn that has been caused by COVID-19, many parents are not sure how they will be able to pay for the supplies that are necessary to the education of their children.
That’s where Communities in Schools and Metter Police Department step in. The two are working together to sponsor a School Supply Giveaway tomorrow Saturday, July 25, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The giveaway will be held at Metter Police Department on East Lillian Street.
Due to the necessity for social distancing, the giveaway will be done in a drive-through style instead of the normal ‘Back to School Fair.’
Adults are asked to drive into the lot on the east side of the Police Department and follow the driveway around to the side of the building.
Upon arriving at the gymnasium entrance, volunteers will greet families and find out what grade the students in the car will be attending. The volunteers will go into the building, gather the appropriate supply bag and return to the vehicle, presenting the goodies to the students.
Rules to follow
The rules for participating in the giveaway are simple. The student who is to receive the supplies must be in the car with the adult. There is no income requirement and students can be attending any of the schools in Candler County, whether planning to participate in face-to-face or virtual instruction.
All passengers must remain in the vehicle throughout the giveaway. It is suggested that those in the vehicles wear masks, but it is not a requirement.
All volunteers will be wearing masks and gloves to protect themselves and the program participants.
After the students receive their supplies, the driver will exit the lot back onto Lillian Street. There will be signage and volunteers to make the traffic flow as fluidly as possible.
Grade specific supplies
The supplies that are being given are grade specific, according to Roberta Graham, executive director of Communities in Schools.
The students in elementary and middle school grades will receive their supplies in a book bag. High school students will have their supplies delivered in a plastic bag because MHS does not allow students to use book bags on campus.
According to Graham, about 400 school supply bags have been compiled. Bags contain notebook paper, pens and pencils, notebooks, and other supplies appropriate to the child’s grade. Composition books for use in all classes will be included.
A goal in 2020 is for each bag to contain a pair of earbuds to be used with technology. The thought is that with each student having his or her own earbuds, there will be no need for the constant cleaning of headphones and germ transfer will be kept to a minimum.
Bags for students at Metter Elementary School include a pencil pouch, a new requirement for the Candler County’s youngest students. This is so that each student can keep up with his or her own writing utensils as teachers will no longer be able to have communal pencil jars.
Now in its fourth year
This is the fourth year that CIS has been involved in the back to school giveaway.
Graham and her site coordinators have worked with the administration at all three schools to determine what supplies are needed according to school and grade level.
Communities in Schools sees the Back to School giveaway as a great way to get the local schools’ students off to a positive start.
Various fundraisers are ongoing. The group is having a raffle for a Yeti cooler. Chances are available from any CIS board members for $5.
They are also selling high quality wrapping paper for $1 per roll until all paper is sold. Paper can be purchased by contacting Graham at the CIS office at the Board of Education on South College Street.
For more information about Communities in Schools, the Back-to-School Giveaway, or the CIS fundraisers, contact Roberta Graham at 912-685-5713, extension 0575.