Help a child prepare for school

Summers are too short. No one knows that better than Carolynn Locke, project coordinator of Shelby Emergency Assistance’s “Back to School” drive beginning July 1.

She is already hard at work gathering school supplies for those children whose parents are unemployed or who simply cannot fit those necessary items into their budget.

“Here in Shelby County, teachers are facing serious challenges,” said Locke. “With many children coming to school without the basic school supplies. Not having these materials can lower the quality of education the children will receive. The impact of the lack of school supplies on a student is immeasurable. Basic school supplies are a major part of what it takes to be successful in school.”

Last year, SEA furnished supplies for 238 students and clothes for another 50.

This year’s goal is 200 filled backpacks and additional supplies to satisfy the needs of at least 50 more students.

The list of supplies is long, but some of the most needed items are glue sticks, No. 2 pencils, rulers, pink erasers, colored pencils, pencil cases, calculators and washable markers.

Also badly needed are white 3-ring binders, construction paper, clear or mesh backpacks, spiral notebooks (1, 3 & 5 subject) and loose-leaf paper (college & wide ruled). A complete list can be found in most stores.

There are many ways to help.

SEA is asking businesses to participate by allowing a barrel to be set up in their store for collections of the school materials.

The first business to sign on was CVS, and SEA would love to put a barrel in every store that sells those basic supplies.

It’s easy while shopping for other things to pick up a few of these items: a couple of packs of paper, pencils, notebooks, crayons or other things on the list.

Then there are also other ways to help. School clothes can be donated to Twice as Nice in Calera for students who need them.

And as always, cash or gift cards to local stores are most welcome.

“Please help S.E.A. and support the ‘Back-to-School’ Program to help make a difference in your community,” said Locke.

For more information or to volunteer gifts, services or time, contact Carolyn Locke at 665-1942.

Catherine Legg can be reached at clegg2@bellsouth.net.