The North County School District will have a bus set up in front of Desloge Walmart the next few days in an attempt to collect school supplies to “Stuff the Bus” for students in the district who may not have all of the school supplies they need.
Poorman said the bus will be out in front of Desloge Walmart through the weekend and they will pick the bus back up Sunday evening. All items will be taken back to the school to be inventoried and placed into the storage area in preparation for the school year.
North County Superintendent Dr. Yancy Poorman said when the community is out buying school supplies they can buy extra and throw them in the bus.
“The ones who can afford to buy extra will and they will throw it in the bus,” Poorman said. “I don’t remember the exact number of students last year, but there were a couple of hundred kids who were able to get various materials.”
Poorman said they get things they need such as crayons, notebooks, pencils and more.
“When it was really hot we would make sure we took certain things out of the bus to make sure they won’t get ruined,” Poorman said. “I don’t think the weather will an issue this year, it has been beautiful.”
Poorman said what the community may not realize is that those people they are giving to are students or parents who come to them who either can’t afford or don’t have all the materials that they need at the start of school.
“We inventory everything and as students go to their classes and don’t have what they need, the teacher will supplement out of the inventory to make sure they have what all of the other kids have,” Poorman explained. “It helps on two levels, one it helps on the social level and the child doesn’t give any thought to the fact they didn’t have something else because it was there.”
Poorman said the second thing is that it gives the mindset to both the faculty and the parents that the community will help support what they are trying to do. He added it really gives a sense of community because there has been a lot of stuff donated each year.
“It is so nice to be able to provide a student with materials or supplies they need without a request,” Poorman said. “The need is particularly stronger at the elementary grade levels, but we do also help at higher grade levels too.”
Poorman said he wasn’t sure where the “Stuff the Bus” originated, but for North County it is a big supply of what they have in their inventory in their store room.
“The way we do that is we keep it inventoried and will know how much we have of a certain item,” Poorman explained. “We can supplement if we have to and as the kids need things, they always have a resource they can go to.”
He added it is a pretty smooth operation how it gets from people purchasing the items to the kids’ hands.
“We avoid embarrassment and there is nothing to make the child feel insecure or inadequate, they have everything everybody else has,” Poorman said. “We owe that to the community, without them this wouldn’t be possible.”
He added that some parents may only be able to afford a few of the essentials off the supply list and that is why they do this each year. Education is important and the district wants to see all of their students succeed.
“We don’t base the need on income or anything else,” Poorman said. “We look at the kid and if they don’t have it, we will give it to them. It is one of the most effective things we do.”
Renee Bronaugh is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-518-3617 or email@example.com