All Crittenden County students getting free school supplies

This collection box is inside Marion Baptist Church.

MARION, KY — The classrooms may be empty, but some donation boxes are already full. The Crittenden County School District is working with churches and businesses to provide free school supplies for every student in the district.

So far, 17 businesses, churches and other organizations throughout Crittenden County are helping to collect school supplies, including notebooks, binders, crayons and more. The goal is to provide all necessary school supplies, except backpacks, to every one of the approximately 1,400 students in the district.

The collection box at the church is already full.

Crystal Wesmoland, coordinator of the school district’s Family Resource and Youth Services Center, which is spearheading the initiative, said the school supplies will be given to the students on the first day of school. Middle and high schoolers will each receive their supplies in a large plastic bag, while elementary school students will find their school supplies on their desks.

“It just helps them go to school and be proud they have their stuff. They don’t have to worry about it, and they can really just start the day off and learn,” said Wesmoland.

Wesmoland said by getting the free school supplies, each family will save about $100 per student.

17 churches and businesses are helping to collect school supplies.

“School supplies have always been a big hindrance and a big cost to all of our families, no matter what social-economic level they are,” said Wesmoland.

Jackie Dismore, who has three children — 13-year-old Quaid, 9-year-old April, and 3-year-old Lane — said the free school supplies allow her to focus on other needs for her kids.

“I’m going to buy more clothes for my children,” said Dismore. “And in middle school, it’s kind of an expense you don’t think about, but they start join different type of clubs and they have club dues.”

Jackie Dismore says the free school supplies are a big help for her family.

What’s extra special for Dismore is that Lane will be starting preschool this fall. It means a lot knowing he and his siblings will be taken care of.

“It’s so comforting to know that I know all of the teachers at all of the school systems at all of our schools, and know that they’re basically going into just another set of loving arms,” said Dismore.  “So that’s pretty great, actually.”

The 17 businesses, churches and groups helping to collect school supplies include: Crittenden County Farm Bureau, Sugar Grove CP Church, Marion Baptist Church, Mexico Baptist Church, Rebecca Johnson Law Office, Marion United Methodist Church, Life in Christ Church, Glenn’s Apothecary, Cave Springs General Baptist Church, Farmers Bank, First United Bank, Deer Creek Baptist Church, Par-4 Plastics, Heart to Heart Center, Walnut Grove Baptist Church, Caldwell Springs Baptist Church, and YTG Insurance.

Some of those locations have collection bins where people can drop off school supplies, while other locations are accepting monetary donations.

If you or your organization want to donate or help with the school supplies drive, call Wesmoland at 270-965-3525. This is the first time the school district is having a drive that covers every single student. Last year, the district did a smaller drive that provided school supplies to about 250 students.

Westmoland added that, although this particular drive is not collecting backpacks at the moment, she can arrange to get backpacks for families who cannot afford them.

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