Can I Borrow a Pencil?

Imagine your first day of middle school.  You've just left the comfort and safety of elementary school, where you've been at home for as long as you can remember.  Many questions roll through your 11-year-old mind.  Will I fit in with all the kids coming from other schools?  Will the teachers be nice?  Will the work be too hard?  Will I be able to open the combination on my locker?

Back to school is stressful, whether it's a new start at a new school, or the final first day as a senior in high school.

Now, what if you had to do it without a notebook, paper or pencil?

Hundreds of students across Walton County head off to school empty handed each year, and more and more families are finding it hard to fulfill the recommended supply list due to unemployment and increasing situational poverty.

But kids won't be borrowing pencils.  Or paper.  Or other basic supplies that they need.

Thanks to supply drives conducted by FISH and Walmart, CIS Site Coordinators at Carver Middle School, Monroe Area High School, Walnut Grove High School and Social Circle Elementary School were able to distribute supplies to students in need.

"Binders are a big deal in middle school," said Amy Hunnewell, CIS Site Coordinator at Carver Middle School.  "Students need one for each class, and if they don't have them, it can be hard to stay organized and keep assignments on track.  Our students are really thankful for these resources."

Walmart donated 100 binders and 5-tab divider sets.  FISH received a variety of items, including crates of crayons, piles of paper, and a glut of glue.  Book bags, notebooks, index cards, highlighters were also part of the cache of supplies that were distributed through Communities In Schools.

"We weren't able to do our normal school supply distribution with our summer lunch program due to lack of funding," said Cindy Little, Executive Director of FISH.  "We are so glad to be able to distribute the items we received from local donors through the CIS sites, because we know that the CIS coordinators inside the schools know where the greatest needs are. With fewer resources and greater needs, it's important to be sure we make the best use of what we have."

"We are so thankful to Walmart, FISH and all the individuals and organizations who contributed supplies to help make sure students got off to a great start for the new school year," said CIS Executive Director Angela Yarman.

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