By Charlotte Smith
August is the month for most new school year’s to begin. It is an exciting time of year for both teachers and students alike.
Every new school year also comes with a list of supply needs. Bladen County is in the top 25 of the poorest counties in North Carolina. According to United States Census Data, the income per capita in Bladen County is $17,890 on average, with a household income of $30,471 per household. Many community members, churches and businesses have come together to make sure students and teachers can start out the new school year equipped.
Billie Hall, a dedicated community member, started organizing a uniform exchange a few years ago and now it has grown into a huge event with many helping to make the day possible. There will be a Back 2 School Blast on Saturday, August 18th from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. at the Cape Fear Farmer’s Market in Elizabethtown. There will be free haircuts, school supplies, hot dogs, health care screenings, uniform exchanges and more.
On Sunday, August 19th, the back to school festivities will continue in front of San Jose’s in Elizabethtown at 6:00 p.m. Bladen County Released Time announced on their Facebook page that there will be 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to be given away; while children enjoy bounce houses, snow cones, and popcorn. Foundation Bible Church is the event organizer.
Limited supplies are on a first come, first serve basis and students must be present to receive the supplies. Both the events are free and open to the public.
The North Carolina Guardian ad Litem for Bladen, Brunswick, and Columbus Counties is promoting a school supplies drive, seeking donations for local schools. Boxes for the drive may be found at businesses throughout said counties. According to their website, The North Carolina Guardian ad Litem equips community volunteers to serve abused and neglected children by advocating for their best interests in court.
If you know someone in need, please help get the word out by passing along the information about these give-away events. If you can assist with school needs, please donate to the School Supply Drive at a local business near you or drop supplies off at your local school.
Bladen County Schools announced the districtwide Open House will be held on August 23rd. The first official school day is August 27th. Emereau: Bladen and Paul R. Brown Leadership Academy, the two charter schools in the county, have already started their new school year. Community Baptist School and Elizabethtown Christian Academy are currently accepting applications for the new school year.
And last but not least, keeping the needs of our schools’ students, staff and family members in your thoughts and prayers all year long is the key to a successful year.