Ponoka’s FCSS is looking for donations and support to bring much needed Tools for Schools to kids and families who need the support. Here Shelly Van Eaton, program coordinator, poses with some of the supplies available for kids going back to school. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Ponoka’s Tools for Schools in need of support

The back to school program aims at getting kids and families the supplies needed for school.

Not every kid going back to school this fall will have the supplies they need.

That’s where Ponoka’s FCSS steps in with the Tools for Schools to provide support with supplies to kids needing a leg up before school.

The problem is the supplies are running out faster than FCSS can fill them.

Shelly Van Eaton, program coordinator with FCSS, said there is a real need for certain school supplies.

“We have way less school supplies coming in and a little bit more monetary donations…but not enough,” she explained.

Typically FCSS gets around 35 people who need help with supplies and fees, or both. “We’re showing a definite deficit this year in this program.”

Those who have been coming in have been able to get certain supplies but items such as back packs and scientific calculators are in high demand this year.

There has been a response from residents and Ponoka businesses with donations and that has helped FCSS but there is more work to be done.

The real focus of the program is to ensure that kids can get the supplies they need in school to ensure they can get their work done. Having these supplies also ensures kids can avoid some of the social stigmas that come with not being able to afford supplies.

“We have seen kids come in three days after school starts and say, ‘We have nothing,’” explained Van Eaton.

FCSS will also supply $20 gift cards to Central Office Supplies and that usually is enough to get either a back pack or calculator, but not both.

Van Eaton’s hope is to get a few more supplies so that the main items are available to kids and then with the gift card they can get the calculator or back pack that they need.

For more information contact FCSS at 403-783-4462.

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