Take the chance to help children
Jason Cannon, Franklin County Times
Tomorrow marks the first day of school for local students.
Some students will sleepily head to class, trying to shake the days of sleeping late and staying out all night.
Others will cling tightly to their parent's leg, kicking and screaming.
Sadly, a significant percentage of each group will begin this school year behind their classmates because their family couldn't afford all the school supplies they needed.
Notebooks, crayons, colored pencils, glue, rulers and everything else really begins to add up.
Many parents are forced to make decisions like buying school supplies or food. Others will have to decide whether or nor filling their children's backpack means they can't play sports this year.
Teachers spend an average of $500 or more of their own money each year to provide basic supplies for their students, but it's still not enough.
There are some things that you can do to help, and it won't crimp your family's budget.
The Franklin County Times has partnered with several local businesses in an effort we've called the Schoolhouse Stock Supply Drive.
You've probably seen the many collection boxes we've placed throughout the county. All supplies collected through the drive go directly to the city and county schools.
Friday, we will collect all the supplies and divide them up among the city and county schools.
The teachers and administrators will distribute them to those who need it the most.
It may not sound like much, but if only every other person that passed one of the collection boxes put something in it, hundreds of children would be given the supplies they need.
We encourage you, anytime before Friday, to pick up a pack of notebook paper, a box of crayons, or any other school supply and drop it in the box.
If you're not sure what is needed, a list of critical school supplies is attached to the outside of each drop off box.
You can donate basic supplies at the following locations: The Franklin County Times, First Metro Bank, Citizens Bank, Community Spirit Bank (Russellville, Vina and Red Bay branches), Bank Independent, Valley State Bank and Valley State Bank, Wal-Mart branch and Warehouse Furniture.