Classes begin in the Scotland County School in about 12 days.
Many of the 3,700 children that will be returning to elementary or middle schools come from homes that depend somewhat on food stamps, so we know they face difficult choices each day making decisions on how to spend what limited dollars they have.
In those households, simple school supplies — which some of their classmates take for granted — are likely to get pushed far down the shopping list.
Children who show up to school without some of the basics — pens, pencils and notebooks — not only have a steeper hill to climb, they have to deal with embarrassment and probably some teasing or even bullying.
With that in mind, state Rep. Garland Pierce and the Scotland County branch of the NAACP launched its Back-to-School, Stay in School campaign in 2000.
The program has grown steadily since then and last year more than 1,000 students from elementary to high school attended the Back to School, Stay in School event held at Scotland High School.
The NAACP does a tremendous job organizing the event that provides the free supplies to needy students.
But the group could use your help.
Those of you who would like to donate supplies or money can do so today from noon to 5 p.m. at the Dollar Tree store on Main Street in Laurinburg. That event, called “Stuff a Cruiser,” was conceived by the good folks at the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office to help the local NAACP collect the supplies that volunteers will stuff in bags to be handed out on Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. at the high school.
In past, the sheriff’s department has served as the honor guard and security at the annual back-to-school event, but deputies wanted to try to something different this year.
School supplies will also be accepted from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. throughout the week at the sheriff’s office. Deputies will also be out in force at Friday’s Laurinburg After Five event at the Morgan Complex from 6 to 9 p.m.
“At any given time students may live in temporary conditions or with other family members and the need to help is there,” Sheriff Ralph Kersey said. “We hope to assist these children in need of help so that their education does not have to suffer.”
Suggested donations include pencils, folders, pens, notebooks, paper, glue, scissors and crayons. People who don’t have time to shop or visit one of the drop-off sites can donate money. You can reach the NAACP at 910-277-8890.
We hope you will drop by and chip in.