Chester County organizations support school supply drive

With just a few weeks to go before the first yellow buses take to the streets and the first bells ring, back-to-school shopping is kicking into gear, and that includes school supplies. Many local organizations and businesses in Chester County are serving as drop-off sites for school supplies, so people can donate anywhere that may be convenient.

Lauren Medlin, director of the Arts Council of Chester, said this is the first year the council has participated. “We feel that it’s a great thing for the community and we want to help out and we do have a lot of children who come to our art classes,” she said. She said spending time with the kids that attend Chester County schools, either through art classes or other partnerships in the district, really makes the council want to support area children.

“We know things are needed in the schools and being involved with them just makes us want to support them even more,” she said. Katherine Cummings knows firsthand how expensive purchasing school supplies can be . Her children attend a year-round school and she already had to do her school supply shopping.

“My kids started back a week and a half ago and I had to buy two different sheets of supplies and it was not cheap,” she said. Cummings is a librarian at the Chester County Library, another donation site. She said very few supplies have been dropped off so far. She said the drive is a good idea, and hopes more adults will participate as the start of school gets closer.

At the Arts Council, Medlin said a few items had been donated, At the Alltell Wireless in the Chester Crossing Shopping Center, workers there said many have dropped off supplies. “We got the little bin up by the front of the store,” said wireless consultant Brent Humphries. “It’s got a lot of stuff in it.” Four out of five Chester County students qualify for free or reduced lunch and Agnes Slayman, superintendent of the Chester County school district, said the donated school supplies make a difference to students and parents in the district.

The annual school supply drive is a partnership between The Herald and its sister community newspapers – the Fort Mill Times, the Enquirer-Herald in York and Clover, and the Lake Wylie Pilot – and the school districts of Chester, Clover, York, Lancaster, Rock Hill and Fort Mill. The drive will continue through the start of the new school year during the third full week in August.