Craven County school supply drive starts Friday

CRAVEN COUNTY, NC (WITN) School supplies aren't getting any cheaper, which is why many local organizations are collecting much needed necessities to help parents out.

Carteret County is holding its annual Stuff the Bus school supply drive starting Friday.

Volunteers will be on hand at Staples and Walmart in Morehead City collecting items like book bags, notebooks, pencils, markers and glue sticks. All items collected will be distributed free of charge to students in financial need.

Collection sites will be open from 9 a.m.- 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and from 1 p.m.- 6 p.m. on Sunday.

The main distribution will take place on Wednesday, August 15 from 8 a.m.- 11 a.m. at Parkview Baptist Church in Morehead City. Four other distributions will take place on Sunday, August 18 from 4 p.m.- 5 p.m. at Beaufort Elementary School, Broad Creek Middle School, Newport Middle School and Down East Middle School/Smyrna Elementary School.

Heading back to school can be an expense some parents just can't afford and that's what Stuff the Bus in Craven County aims to help.

Darlene Brown with Craven County Partners in Education says, "Remember when you started school and you got all of those crayons, and pencils, and paper and how excited you were. Well a lot of children, their parents can't afford to get those school supplies for them so they go back empty handed. So what we want to do is start them out on the road to success and give them the tools they need."

School officials say that some of the surrounding counties have as many as 300 students that are considered homeless and even more families that are struggling to make ends meet. Because of that they rely on events like Stuff the Bus to help their students get the school year started on the right foot.

Organizers of events like the Stuff the Bus in Craven and surrounding counties say the need for events like this have only continued to rise.

Brown says, "Our free and reduced lunch rate is the best way that we can see what the need is for our students and that does grow every year. We have about 55% county wide free and reduced lunch rate and some of our schools even have 90% free and reduced lunch rate. That's an incredibly needy school."

Through efforts like this families that fall into that category, which includes the homeless student population, can get the supplies they need. without it officials say students can fall behind.

To learn how to donate just click on the related link to this story.