KINGSLAND, Texas (KXAN) — From pencils, paper and even protractors, a student’s back-to-school shopping list can sometimes be lengthy and add up at the cash register — putting a dent in parents’ budget.
This year, the National Retail Federation shows back-to-school shoppers will spend nearly $700 per household — a new record.
However, some Llano Independent School District students and teachers will not have to worry. At Kingsland’s Packsaddle Elementary the school supplies are provided for students. It’s all made possible thanks to some of the money from the school’s budget and a big chunk from the community’s donations.
Principal Ryan Turner said the money came from a variety of donors like the Sandy Mountain Fellowship from Sunrise Beach, Sarah Lindley, a local dentist, Kingsland Pharmacy.
“The Lake Area Rods and Classics, it’s a bunch of hot rods and older cars, showed up last week and gave us a check for $600,” Turner said.
The donations are especially helpful because four out of every five kids at this school come from low-income homes.
“We are about 82% economically disadvantaged,” Turner said.
Packsaddle’s third-grade teacher Tammy Barrack says the school supplies have helped “break down the barriers.”
“We want kids to come in and feel safe and feel loved and be ready to learn,” Barrack said.
School teachers keep sets of shareable items like scissors, glue sticks, crayons and pencils in the classroom, and turn to donations to meet other needs. Turner said they have done this for five years, but this school year is the second in a row. Last year, the school raised $12,000 in donations. In the last three weeks, Turner says the school has received 14 donations so far, totaling about $4,000.
“The community truly cares about the kids and take care of them and they don’t want them to want for anything and so they’re very generous, very generous,” Turner said.
With the school supplies ready to go every year, Barrack said they are able to “hit the ground running.”
And parents like Starmmy Adams say it’s a stress reliever because “we don’t have to worry about getting what somebody else has or not having what somebody has.”
Barrack adds, “The biggest thing we have to understand is that children are children. They don’t understand why they have or not have. It’s not their fault but it comes down on their shoulders.”