August 11, 2009
1,200 local students need school supplies
The first day of school is only three weeks away. It’s a time of excitement for students as they look forward to meeting new teachers, seeing old friends, getting a new pair of sneakers and filling their backpacks with new pencils and crayons.But it isn’t that easy for many Issaquah district children. More than 1,200 of them will qualify for free or reduced lunches this year — because their parents just can’t afford to pay. A new backpack with new school supplies might be out of the question.
Each year, teachers scramble to make sure all children have the requisite school supplies, many reaching into their own pockets to ensure scissors, paper and markers are available for all who need them.
There are a number of organizations that collect donations of school supplies. Some collections are at local stores, but donors should beware of who is doing the collecting and where the donations go. Our interest is in our local students. We have an opportunity to make sure the first lesson of the year is not about the haves and the have-nots.
You can help students whose parents may not have the resources by starting with a membership to the PTSA at your school, and/or a donation to school scholarship programs that help pay for everything from school field trips to athletic fees. Ask at your school how best to help.
Or, purchase some of those school supplies. The Issaquah Food Bank, 179 First Ave. S.E., has the backpacks ready to go, but still needs to fill them with supplies. Or drop off donations during the XXX Rootbeer Drive-in car shows the next three Sundays.
If it’s more convenient, The Issaquah Press will collect and transport school supplies to the food bank. Bring weekdays from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. to 45 Front St. S.