Sending kids back to school can be an exciting time but costs for supplies and fees can be a burden too large for some families.
To tackle the issue, Family and Community Support Services (FCSS) has for more than 10 years provided a full set of school supplies to students from kindergarten to Grade 12. Emma Curran, program co-ordinator, says Tools for School has received a large amount of school supplies, including backpacks and she has been putting everything together.
She tries to match up the right bag and supplies for the appropriate age and gender and looks forward to getting supplies into kids’ hands.
“We try to accommodate that to play to their interests,” said Curran.
Coin jars and drop boxes have been placed in different spots where supplies were sold but she also has received large donations from companies such as Extra Foods and Shoppers Drug Mart. “They have really stepped up to the plate with this.”
Despite a large need at the beginning of the term, Curran gets requests for supplies throughout the year. She suggests anyone who needs supplies for their students to call 403-783-4462 as they have a large supply of materials.
“People have been very, very generous,” she added.
The only items FCSS cannot supply are the scientific calculators many students need in high school and gym clothes but USB memory sticks are provided.
“Whatever’s on the school list, we provide. It really is a great program,” said Curran.
Her goal is to reduce the pressure on parents, as they also have to pay school fees and buy new clothing. She has also introduced a new promotion to get kids excited about learning, it’s called Back-to-School Kickoff. Gift certificates from Ponoka businesses have been donated and kids are encouraged to enter their name into a draw box at the Ponoka Youth Centre. Lucky winners will receive a gift certificate or gift from a store to help them get the necessary items for school.
Contact Ponoka FCSS at 403-783-4462.