The new school year will be starting soon, and this means hundreds of students will be needing school supplies. Do you remember the excitement you felt as a child, when you shopped each fall for all the items you would need for your classes? Do you see the class supply lists that are posted at local stores so students will know what they are expected to have on the first day of school?
Sadly, more and more youth in our community do not have the means to purchase these necessary items. The economic situation here has hit many families hard. Additionally, an agency that has helped many people in the past, Operation Helping Hand, is no longer in existence. These two factors will leave a huge number of unprepared students unless the community as a whole comes to their aid — and quickly.
Each of you can do a little bit to help this situation. When you shop at local stores that sell school supplies, you will notice drop-off boxes near their doors. You may purchase supplies and leave them in the boxes, or you may contribute money and teams of “back-to-school shoppers” will use this money to fill in the gaps of items that have not been donated.
Here is a list of necessary items that has been provided by teachers.
These first seven items are ones that are needed by the greatest number of children: notebook paper, wide ruled spiral notebooks (1 subject), pocket folders, 3-ring binders — 1 inch and 3 inch sizes, pencils, pens and colored pencils.
These additional items are also needed, especially by the youth in upper grades: notebook paper — college ruled, graph paper, black composition notebooks, plastic pocket folder with paper fasteners, dividers for 3-ring binders, scissors (large, pointed), scientific calculator (should cost no more than $14), red pens, pencil sharpeners with covers, highlighter markers, pencil pouches with holes for binders, large erasers, glue sticks, metric/standard rulers, protractors and compasses.
Monetary donations, as well as donated items, can be taken to Community United Methodist Church during office hours, 8 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Friday. The church is at 434 Lewis Street, and the mailing address for checks is P.O. Box 300, Pagosa Springs 81147. For further information, or to get any questions answered, please call the office at 264-5508.
Any assistance you can give will help the needy children of our community get a good start on their school year and will greatly support our local public schools as well. Please do what you can to help.