Aiken County students receive tools needed for productive year

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AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – School starts Monday for thousands of Aiken County students.  Many of them need extra help getting ready for the upcoming year, so the community answered the call.

One thing those students who need a little extra help getting prepared won’t have to worry about is school supplies. That’s because crates packed with the essentials were donated to Aiken County Public Schools from businesses in the community.

Kimmerie Allen, Assistant Principal of Belvedere Elementary School spoke with us about her excitement for the new year while collecting school supplies from Aiken Electric Cooperative.

“It’s just so good when the teachers can come to me and say Ms. Allen, you know so and so doesn’t have pencils so you have any for us? I can just go in the supply closet and pull out that pencil or pull out that book bag or pull out those crayons and say here you go,” Allen exclaimed.

Belvedere will have its share of educational tools, a handy treat for teachers who typically spend their own money for students to learn.

“It helps them to spend the money for more teacher enhancement materials to help them in the classroom,” Allen said.

Classrooms run by a new principal this year.

“We’re going to do a character ed program to teach our students more about character education,” she said adding there are other new programs that will go along with the new leadership.

United Way of Aiken County President Sharon Rodgers estimated there were thousands of supplies donated.

“Probably over 50,000 supplies,” she said.

For several years now the United Way of Aiken County has worked as the middle man to funnel supplies to local schools.

“We want every child in Aiken County to have what they need to be successful in school. Without a good education, their chance for a quality life just isn’t there,” Rodgers said.

Thousands of supplies will take care of more than 25,000 students.  Of those, 60 percent are in need. And the company that supplies those families with energy kicked in to help too.

Aiken Electric Co-op Manager of Community Development Keyatta Priester told me, “Our organization is more than energy. We go above and beyond in terms of the commitment to the community. We’re extremely involved in several facets of the community benefiting underprivileged individuals or those who are not able to help themselves.”

In addition to companies, several churches and organizations donated too.

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