Betsy Fuller, spokeswoman for the 17,000-student Lakota school system, said the district, which includes both Liberty and West Chester townships, “is excited to once again partner with the Cincinnati Children’s Liberty Community Advisory Committee to collect supplemental school supplies for local students.”
“Committee organizations throughout West Chester and Liberty townships will be collecting items beginning July 1, leading up to the “Stuff the Bus” event at Liberty Center on July 27,” said Fuller.
Fuller echoed Hopkins in emphasizing the tougher times for low-income school families.
Adding to the financial stress for school district is the on-going COVID-19 pandemic and its sweeping and often sharp increases in school operating expenses since its onset in March 2020.
Lakota is using some of its federal ESSER (Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief) monies, provided to districts nationwide to help offset school pandemic costs, toward getting needy students learning supplies.
“We will provide our students in grades K-8 with school kits using ESSER dollars. The kits will contain most of the school supplies students will need,” said Fuller.
“COVID has certainly had a financial impact on many of our families, even beyond the 20% who are economically disadvantaged. The current state of the economy and rising prices are certainly not helping matters. We are grateful to our community members who are able to donate items to help our kids.”
The items we are collecting at locations around the community through July 26 and then at Liberty Center on July 27, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Square at Liberty Center, 7100 Foundry Way. Immediately following the event, volunteers will fill 800 backpacks with the donated items.
In addition to collecting school supplies, Cincinnati Children’s will provide free vision screenings at the July 27 event.
“We’re thrilled with the opportunity to serve the community. Getting children back in school can be a particularly tough time for families, financially. If we can help make it a little easier by providing a backpack and a few school supplies, it’s a great way to give back and pay forward,” said Hopkins.
Anyone interested in donating school supplies before the Liberty Center collection event can drop off at five locations throughout the community through July 26:
● Cincinnati Children’s Liberty location (main entrance) 7777 Yankee Rd, Liberty Township, 45044
● Liberty Township Administration Building, 5021 Winner’s Circle Dr., Liberty Township 45011
● MidPointe Library, 7100 Foundry Row, Liberty Township 45069
● Lakota Schools Central Office, 5572 Princeton Road, Liberty Township 45011
● VOA MetroPark, 7850 VOA Park Drive, West Chester 45069
Supplies needed include:
● Earbuds and headphones with an audio jack;
● Pencil pouches;
● Hand sanitizer;
● Tissues; and
● Resealable plastic bags (gallon and quart sizes).