Greene County families with students in kindergarten through fifth grade can worry about one less back-to-school item. Both Ruckersville Elementary School and Nathanael Greene Primary and Elementary schools will provide school supplies for all K-5 students this school year.
Nathanael Greene Primary and Elementary
Nathanael Greene Primary School Principal Danielle Alicea and Nathanael Greene Elementary School Principal Adam Midock noticed students coming to school without supplies, and both agree that providing school supplies will be a positive thing for their students.
“For our school in particular we understand that there’s a lot of cost in the beginning of the year, not just with school supplies, but all beginning of the year cost. We want to try to alleviate that and anything we can do to alleviate that would be a positive thing for our students,” Midock said.
Both schools plan to use Title 1 funding, supplemental funds for schools with large concentrations of low-income students to assist in meeting student’s educational goals, to purchase the school supplies. Between both schools, Midock and Alicea estimate between 750 and 800 students will receive school supplies this year.
“I’ve talked to parents before where they’ve said the average cost of school supplies is $50 per kid. If you have four kids and you multiply that out, that ends up being a lot for a family,” Alicea said. “I don’t think parents were expecting it, but I think that it’s a nice team effort. There’s not a lot of things that we can purchase for them, so this is an avenue that we can alleviate and make it easier.”
Both NGPS and NGES are asking families to provide a backpack for their students. Both have created a “wishlist” of school supplies that can be donated, but are not required to purchase.
“I think it’s important for parents to realize those are wishlist items. They don’t have to purchase them. If there is a family that’s struggling or a family who feels like they can’t provide anything or it’s hard for them to get supplies, they can just come to school with a backpack,” Alicea said. “If a kid comes and they don’t even have a backpack, we could provide that, too. [Providing school supplies] is to help, not to hinder. If they want to bring anything they’re more than welcome to. We’re just trying to make it less of a burden.”
Wishlist items include:
- Kindergarten: hand sanitizer, baby wipes, highlighters, paper plates, colored and white cardstock, snacks and tissues
- First grade: Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, tissues, Ziploc bags, paper towels, baby wipes, computer labels, colored copy paper, glue sticks, Elmer’s white glue, and white and colored card stock
- Second grade: tissues, Clorox wipes, Ziploc bags, hand sanitizer, notecards, paper towels and colored cardstock
- Third grade: tissues, Ziploc bags, hand sanitizer, colored cardstock, Clorox wipes and art supplies
- Fourth grade: tissues, Ziploc bags, Clorox wipes, hand sanitizer, 1-inch binder, post-its, colored cardstock, labels and art supplies
- Fifth grade: tissues, Clorox wipes, Ziploc bags, aluminum foil, notebook paper, pencils, art supplies and hand sanitizer
Any wishlist items purchased can be dropped off during the school’s open house on Thursday, Aug. 8.
Greene Alliance of Church/Community Efforts (GRACE) will still hold their annual backto-school drive. Families can pick up school supplies from GRACE on Wednesday, Aug. 7 from 8 a.m.-noon at NGES. Midock noted that even though school supplies will be provided for students, families could utilize the GRACE drive for school supplies at home. Any items not picked up from the GRACE drive are donated back to the school, as well.
The schools anticipate being able to provide school supplies to students using Title I funding in the years to come.
“We get those funds for situations like this,” Midock said. “All those kids that didn’t have anything coming in are now going to have them. Everybody’s going to have what they need.”
For Ruckersville Elementary School Principal Donna Payne, purchasing school supplies for their students is a way to show they care and will put all students on the same playing field from the beginning.
“It’s another way that we can show our community that we want to do what we can to make school a stress-free educational opportunity for their students and making sure that all of our students have equal access to everything that they need in order to be successful. It feels good to be able to take that one piece away so it’s one less thing that parents have to worry about,” Payne said.
RES does not receive Title I funding and plans to use their annual school fundraiser to cover the cost of supplies for its nearly 560 students this year. The school requests that families provide their students with a backpack and a pair of headphones.
RES also has a wishlist of items that families can donate to the school, but are not required for purchase. Those items include tissues, Clorox wipes, glue sticks, Elmer’s glue, dry erase markers, colored pencils, crayons, markers, hand sanitizer, hand soap, Ziploc bags, highlighters, index cards, magic erasers, wide ruled loose leaf paper and No. 2 pencils.
“If they can’t provide [a backpack and headphones], let the school know and we can provide assistance for those things as well. Anything that they can provide additionally from the donation list will be greatly appreciated and free up more funds for us so that we’ll be able to continue to make this available for students,” Payne said.
Wishlist items can be dropped off at RES during open house night on Thursday, Aug. 8. The school’s annual fundraiser is still to be determined, but Payne said she hopes families will support the fundraiser to be able to fund the supplies in the coming years.
“I hope it’s something that the community will appreciate and that will take some of that financial burden off families so that they can concentrate more on school clothes and shoes and those kinds of things,” she said.