Wow, South Carolina schools start next week already! It sure still seems like summer to me.
I live in one of the poorest counties of the state and I imagine most parents will be emptying their pockets at Walmart this weekend to stock up on school clothes and school supplies for the kids, taking advantage of tax free sales the state allows for a few days.
As a teacher for most of my life, I had many memorable students, dozens for their wonderful qualities, a few that sorely tried my commitment to teaching. The ones that pulled hardest at my heart strings were the ones whose parents (or grandparents) were clueless, living in poverty, addicted, or otherwise unable to provide adequately for their children.
These are the kids who come to school on the first day with the disintegrating ratty backpack from last year and nothing much inside it while their classmates fling brightly colored new everything into their cubbies or desks.
While classroom teachers almost always have a stash of school supplies for those students, those supplies come out of the teachers' own pockets, and there is never enough.
In mid summer schools publish a student supply list on the school's website of items necessary for each grade.
Would you consider giving a child a great start to the school year
by filling a backpack for a child or two
and dropping it off at your neighborhood school?
I found two brand new bags (though gently used would have been fine), a Purple print messenger bag for a girl and a black backpack for a boy, at a charity shop for $3.50 each. I used the supply list for a 4th grade boy and one for a 5th grade girl and spent about $50 total. There are brightly colored scissors, sharp new crayons, neon post-it notes, folders and binders with sparkles and super heroes, crazy pencils.