Tax-free weekend means plenty of families will be headed out to pick up school supplies this weekend because they know they can save some cash.
But for many families in York, Chester and Lancaster counties, even without having to pay sales tax, buying school supplies can be a financial burden.
John Kirell, principal at Rock Hill’s Belleview Elementary, remembers how exciting it was to get new school supplies before the start of each year.
“I remember, as a kid, the couple of nights before school, I’d arrange my folders and my pencil box, and it got me so ready for that first day,” he said. “Some of our kids, they don’t get that excitement.”
The annual school supply drive is a partnership between The Herald and its sister community newspapers – Fort Mill Times, Enquirer-Herald and Lake Wylie Pilot – and the school districts in York, Chester and Lancaster counties.
The drive will continue through the start of the new school year, the third full week in August.
Rock Hill schools have developed a consistent list for all schools, instead of having a separate list for each. They don’t change much from year to year.
That allows stores to obtain the lists earlier, so families can be on the lookout for sales, Kirell said.
But there are still those who need the donated supplies.
“It takes a big burden off of those teachers,” he said. Without the donated supplies from the drive, teachers often have to use their classroom funds to buy items families can’t afford.
Rock Hill is always generous during the supply drive, said Jamie Quinn, principal at the Renaissance Academy.
“Rock Hill schools, in particular, just doesn’t turn its back to people in need,” Quinn said.
Sullivan Middle School Principal Michael Waiksnis said his school is also thankful for the community and the drive.
“Our students who receive the supplies are so grateful for the community’s willingness to help them,” he said.
Supply drop-off locations
Rachel Southmayd • 803-329-4072