School will be back in session in just a few short weeks, and Richmond County Schools, Walmart, United Way of Richmond County and Communities in Schools of Richmond County are teaming up to ensure that every student in the public schools has the supplies he or she will need to start the year off right.
For the fourth year in a row, Richmond County residents can expect to see a school bus parked in the Walmart parking lot during Tax-Free Weekend, Aug. 3 and 4. The “Stuff the Bus” school supplies drive will be hosted on both days, and the entire community is invited to participate.
On Friday, shoppers at Walmart can donate school supplies from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
On Saturday, shoppers can drop off supplies between 9 a.m. and noon. Volunteers will take supplies and load them onto the school bus that will be on site. Michelle Parrish, Executive Director of United Way has assisted with the Stuff the Bus campaign since the event first began in 2009.
“United Way of Richmond County believes that the inability to afford school supplies should not be an obstacle to a child’s success,” said Parrish. “One way that we are working to advance the good of all is to ensure that when school starts this year that every child has the ability to return to the classroom with all the supplies that are needed for them to be successful.”
Local businesses also have the opportunity to get involved, by making a donation of $50, $100, $200 or $300 toward the purchase of school supplies.
“We sell advertising space on the windows of the bus as a way to get the business community involved,” said Ashley Simmons, public information officer for RCS. “Each company that chooses to make a donation will have its logo displayed on the bus during the event. All of the funds that we collect are used to purchase additional school supplies for the students.”
Communities In Schools of Richmond County will participate in the Stuff the Bus school supplies drive for the first time this year. Executive Director John Kirkpatrick is excited that the non-profit has the opportunity to to help collect supplies for students.
“Just as adults need to be prepared for their jobs, students need to be prepared for school,” Kirkpatrick said “If a student starts the year off with everything needed to be successful, he or she is more likely end the year on a positive note.”
Because the event falls on the first day of tax-free weekend, it’s designed to encourage shoppers to come go to Walmart and fill the bus with school supplies.
In addition, Richmond County Schools will once again participate in the WSOC-TV “School Tools” drive, on Saturday August 18 when local postal workers will collect supplies left in or at mailboxes. Those who cannot attend the Stuff the Bus drive can still make a contribution, by dropping off school supplies right outside their door.
School supplies needed include: three-ring binders; one subject notebook(s); book bags; colored pencils; crayons; folders (with pockets); glue sticks; hand sanitizer; highlighters; markers; notebook paper; pencils; pencil boxes/pouches; rulers; scissors; tissue; writing tablets; dry erase markers; pencil erasers; folders (with prongs); graph paper index cards (3x5); and index tab dividers. All of these supplies can be given to the Stuff the Bus or School Tools Drives.
For more information about the Stuff the Bus school supplies drive, contact Michelle Parrish at the United Way Office by calling 910-997-2173 or Ashley Simmons at the Richmond County Schools Central Office at 910-582-5860.