YORK — The York and Clover school districts are collecting school supplies for needy children. The drives are the product of a partnership between the school districts and The Herald and its sister community newspapers – Enquirer-Herald, Lake Wylie Pilot and Fort Mill Times.
Every year, York and Clover educators say, some children show up for class on the first day of school without pencils, paper or other supplies they need.
“There’s certainly been an increase in that in the past couple years, with job layoffs and the tough economy,” said Mark Hendry, principal of York’s Harold C. Johnson Elementary School.
Job losses affect every area of a family’s life, he said. “It’s more important to take care of children’s basic needs — as far as food and shelter and clothing — than glue sticks and paper.”
But the York and Clover community has come to the rescue in recent years to help families provide school supplies for their children, and Hendry and others hope this year will be no exception.
To ensure that local children have the supplies they will need to be successful in school, all four York County school districts have launched annual drives to collect school supplies.
The drives are the product of a partnership between the school districts and The Herald and its sister community newspapers – Enquirer-Herald, Lake Wylie Pilot and Fort Mill Times.
Hendry said he realizes that a lot of supplies are needed to get a student through the school year, “and it does get expensive.” He’s seen the look on students’ faces when they receive the donated supplies.
“The kids get a smile on their face,” he said.
York schools will collect school supplies until classes begin Aug. 22, said Maria Duncan, human resources director for the district. She said the supplies will be packaged up and taken to each school, where guidance counselors distribute them to students who need them.
The Clover school district is seeking to wrap up most of its collection by the first week in August. Clover schools plan to distribute supplies during a Shoes of Hope event on Aug. 4 at First Baptist Church.
Duncan said York hasn’t seen a lot of donations arrive at the district office to date. However, she said one annual contributor to the drive has already made a generous donation.
“One gentleman came by two days ago,” she said last week. “And he brought multiple boxes of supplies — crayons, colored markers, pencils, notebook paper, spiral notebooks. He has done this for several years.”
Duncan said she thanked the donor, who has asked that he remain anonymous. “He just appears and does this,” she said. “He has done it for the last several years, and we certainly do appreciate it.”
Monetary donations also are being accepted, she said.
Hendry said businesses and individuals can help in a variety of ways. For example, he said, some businesses have offered packages of copy paper and other supplies used in many offices.
“I never turn down a donation. I think I’m speaking for all the schools as well,” Hendry said. “We would really have to dip into our budget more, which is already tight enough, what we get from the state. So if we’re able to save a little on those things, it helps us get other instruction supplies that we need.”