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Extension offers free school supplies for grandparents

The beginning of a new school year can be a costly time, and the Franklin County Extension Office is setting out to help alleviate some of that burden for grandparents raising grandchildren.

Grandparents who are 55 or older raising grandchildren may come to the Franklin County Extension Office to receive free Back to School supplies for their grandchildren. The giveaway will take place from 1-3 p.m. Aug. 4. Grandparents should bring: their IDs; list of children they care for, including their ages and birthdates; and each child’s school supply list.

Extension director Katernia Cole-Coffey said this is an annual program the Extension has done for several years now. The incidence of grandparents raising their grandchildren, Cole said, seems to have risen in recent years.

“We’re just trying to give them the school supplies they need for their grandchildren along with educational information,” Cole-Coffey said. “We’re just trying to help them as much as we can because it’s expensive … When we were in school, it was a notebook, a pack of paper and a pencil. Now, there’s a lot of items the schools want – the copier paper, the Kleenex – it’s just really costly. And then on top of purchasing the school supplies, they have to pay a fee. So it adds up.”

She said the program benefited 150 or more children last year.

Supplies are donated by Alabama Cares coordinator Kathy Spears and NACOLG.

To register for this giveaway or for more information, call 256-332-8880. Grandparents are urged to register by Aug. 3 to ensure there are plenty of school supplies to be handed out.