07/19/04 — School supplies drive is on

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School supplies drive is on

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 19, 2004 2:02 PM

Sudie Davis says her heart goes out to parents who can't provide things their children need for school.

"I recently had one mother call me, looking for ways to get school supplies for her children," she said. The woman was not employed and had four children.

Ms. Davis said that is just one scenario, and it doesn't count those who might be too proud to seek help or who do not know where to turn to ask.

She says the problem has been around since she was a child.

"I remember going to school and once in a while seeing a teacher slip a pencil to a student who needed it," she said.

Today, Mrs. Davis is in a position to help firsthand. As executive director of Communities in Schools, she not only fields calls like the one from the mother of four, but tries to make sure the needs are met.

For the fourth year, Communities in Schools is participating in the "School Stuff Campaign" in collaboration with WRAL-TV. The UPS Store is the local corporate sponsor.

Local drop-off points for donations have already been set up at the Wayne County Chamber of Commerce on North William Street, the administrative offices of Wayne County public schools on Royall Avenue, and The UPS Store on Cashwell Drive. The drive will run through Aug. 16.

Items collected will be distributed to students in the public schools, based on request lists received from individual schools.

An additional event is also planned this year for Friday, July 30.

"We're going to stuff a bus," Mrs. Davis said. She explained that a school bus will be parked in the lot of Centrex Properties on Cashwell Drive and from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., and donations will be accepted.

The first 100 children to bring supplies will receive a free book, she said, and participants will help "stuff" the bus with newsprint.

"We have had about $3,000 worth of school supplies donated every year," she said. "Over the years, teachers have done an awful lot of out-of-pocket expenses. This frees up the money for them, so I think it's appreciated."

The list of supplies requested for the elementary level are book bags without wheels, small pair of Fiskar scissors, facial tissues, 8-count markers, crayons, No. 2 pencils, pocket folders, composition notebook in black and white, big eraser, one-inch three-ring binder, notebook dividers, page protectors, ruler, zippered pencil pouch, highlighter, colored pencils, wide-ruled loose-leaf notebook paper, masking tape, and marking ink pens (except red).

For the middle and high school, needs include college rule loose-leaf paper, one- and two-inch three-ring binders, colored pencils, highlighters, No. 2 pencils, ballpoint pens in black and blue, ruler, geometry protector, notebook dividers, book bag, and composition notebook in black and white.