With Macon County students starting classes Thursday, volunteers in the school system are gearing up to make sure students have all the supplies they need to kick-off the school year.
Macon County’s 9th annual “Fill the Bus” school supply drive will be held this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Franklin Wal-Mart, Kmart, and Big Lots locations.
The event runs during tax-free weekend in order to fully take advantage of the statewide event. Each year, in accordance with state statute, the first weekend in August is designated to give shoppers a break on their purchases. State sales tax will not apply to clothing, footwear, schools supplies, sports equipment and even computers purchased during this time.
The countywide back-to-school campaign grew from Macon Program for Progress Back-to- School Angels campaign started by JoAnn Hurst and Glenda Sherman. Back-to-School Angels provides backpacks filled with school supplies to Head Start children who are entering kindergarten. Parents complete an application process with MPP.
After the busses have been filled with donations and back packs prepared for the kindergardeners, the rest of the donations are divided among county public schools and distributed to needy students by teachers and counselors at the schools. MPP, which also accepts monetary donations, reserves funds in a special account to purchase additional supplies that are needed. In past years approximately $5,300 in supplies have been collected plus $800 in monetary donations in a single year.
Pam Collins, Macon County's community schools coordinator said the event is designed to help students in need with basic school supplies such as notebook paper, pencils, pens, glue, colored pencils, Kleenex—and any other items essential to students.