ATHENS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Back to school shopping is no longer a stressful time for parents at one North Texas school district. Important supplies like pencils, spiral notebooks and glue are being provided to students at no cost to the parents.
The school supplies are being provided to about 1,500 students in pre-K through fifth grade.
First-grade teacher Rebecca Hall can’t wait to share the supplies with students. “It’s going to be exciting for the kids to come in and see all the supplies,” she said.
“For the first time ever, we’re providing all the school supplies through our pre-K to fifth graders,” said Athens ISD Assistant Superintendent Dr. Janie Sims.
Dr. Sims know how much parents and even teachers struggle to provide these important supplies.
“I’m a former elementary school teacher. And so I was that teacher who was spending lots of out of pocket money,” said Dr. Sims.
The district gets federal funding because of the number of students considered economically disadvantaged. In Athens ISD, it’s about 77 percent. There are about 3,136 students in the district.
“For parents who have more than one child… many of our parents have more than one child… supplies can be a major expense,” said Dr. Sims.
The major expense will now be covered by federal funds the district will be using. Parents of fifth-grade and under students in Athens ISD can ignore school supply lists in stores.
Items like glue, crayons and notebooks will be given to students on the first day of school.
The district says backpacks will be made available upon request.
In the past, local businesses often stepped up to help buy school supplies for students.