Rock Hill students are set to return to class this week, but some will lack necessary school supplies because their parents can't afford to purchase them.
So The Herald and the Rock Hill school district are teaming up to help provide those students with the materials they need.
"The Herald is proud and excited to sponsor this effort," Herald publisher and president Debbie Abels said. "This is an easy and tangible way to support education and get our children and teachers off to a good start."
Starting Monday, new school supplies can be dropped off from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at The Herald, 132 W. Main St. Organizers are seeking basic supplies such as notebook paper, pencils and crayons.
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"Supplies are expensive," Abels said. "In a soft economy, it's even more of a stretch to purchase them."
Elaine Baker, Rock Hill school district spokeswoman, said the need for these supplies is great.
"Our schools have close to 300 children who are homeless and depend totally upon the generosity of others," Baker said. "Over 40 percent of our students are on free or reduced lunch, which means that it's difficult for their parents to buy school supplies as well."
That creates unequal footing in their quest for education, she said.
"We want all children to feel like they have an equal chance of being successful in school," Baker said. "This means students need to start off with the supplies they need."
Organizers hope the community will help fill this void.
"If each of us gives just a little bit, it will add up to make a huge difference," Abels said.
WANT TO HELP?
The Herald is partnering with the Rock Hill school district to collect school supplies for needy students.
Organizers are seeking wide-and college-rule notebook paper, pencils, non-toxic glue sticks, colored pencils, combination locks, rulers, crayons, erasers, composition notebooks, single-subject and multiple-subject spiral notebooks, dividers, three-prong folders with pockets, pencil pouches, highlighters, hand sanitizer and tissue.
If you'd like to help, supplies will be accepted from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at The Herald at 132 W. Main St. Those dropping supplies should enter the customer service lobby via the door with the red canopy.
Supplies will be accepted through Aug. 29. For details, call 329-4062.