ASHE COUNTY — Students of Ashe County Schools will report back to school on Aug. 17 but some of those students will not have the supplies they need for the coming year with them.
Economic hardships have resulted in many parents being unable to supply their children with the necessary materials.
In Ashe County and all across the nation, teachers are using funds from their own pockets to purchase school supplies for their students with no reimbursement.
In 2013, the National School Supply and Equipment Association released a Retail Market Awareness Study which estimated that public school teachers spent $3.2 billion in education products for the 2012-13 school year with $1.6 billion of that coming from their own pockets.
The study stated that teachers are “the primary source of funding for classroom projects” and pay for 77-percent of classroom supplies.
On average, public school teachers reported to have spent nearly $500 on supplies for their students which is a 25 percent increase from 2010.
According to the US Census Bureau, 31.3-percent of children in Ashe County are currently living in poverty. That percentage has steadily increased since 2007 when the rate was 23 percent.
The great need for school supplies was recognized by Yadkin Bank and led them to create the “Stuff the Bus” campaign in 2008 as a way to give back to the children of the community.
School supplies such as paper, pencils, backpacks, notebooks and calculators will be collected at the Jefferson and Mount Jefferson Yadkin Bank branches until Aug. 13.
All donations will be evenly distributed among all five Ashe County schools for the school guidance counselors to give out the supplies on a needed basis.
“We would like to thank everyone who has made this a success in the past,” Beth Hall, Commercial Relationship Specialist with Yadkin Bank said.
Those interested in donating can drop off supplies at the Jefferson branch, located at 709 East Main Street in Jefferson or the Mount Jefferson branch, located at 1488 Mount Jefferson Road in West Jefferson.
For more information about “Stuff the Bus,” contact Hall at 336-246-9800.
Hannah Myers can be reached at 336-846-7164 or on Twitter @cmedia_hmyers.