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York sheriff's office donates school supplies

Sheriff Bruce Bryant and the York County Sheriff's Office wants all students to be prepared for the first day of school this month.

And through the Sheriff's Foundation, they're helping make that happen.

The nonprofit foundation has existed for five years, raising funds through Bryant's annual golf tournament. While the ultimate goal is to ensure the quality, integrity and accountability of the law enforcement profession, one of the biggest accomplishments is helping school districts and their students with academic scholarships and school supplies.

Representatives from all four York County school districts - Rock Hill, York, Fort Mill and Clover - each received $400 worth of school supplies Friday at Moss Justice Center.

"Our children do need support," said Luanne Kokolis, assistant superintendent with Rock Hill schools.

The percentage of Rock Hill students who applied for free and reduced lunches has grown to 58 percent, she said.

"With the economy like it is, all school districts have seen an increase in free and reduced lunches," said Fort Mill Superintendent Chuck Epps. "We greatly appreciate this."

The supplies will go to students who need them the most.

While the school supplies covered the basics - pencils, pens, notebooks - some items were requested specifically by the districts based on need.

For example, Clover schools' Marguerite Canty said they requested book bags and are "extremely grateful."

"The Sheriff's Office has done a wonderful job of including us in this," she said. "The students are being given a good start by being prepared for their first day."

York Superintendent Vernon Prosser's district requested "the basics" - pens, pencils and composition books.

"This really helps us get those kids off to a good start," he said.

He pointed to the district's motto of "Sparking potential, inspiring success."

"The Sheriff's Office has really stepped up and made a difference in the lives of these children," Prosser said.