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Don't put further burden on low-income students

2011-09-30T00:00:00Z 2011-09-30T09:50:05Z Don't put further burden on low-income students The Billings Gazette
September 30, 2011 12:00 am

I work for a local social service agency and recently had the joyful privilege of assisting low-income families in obtaining school supplies and backpacks to prepare for the first day of school. We hold such gratitude for everyone who helped us with donations of those supplies, as well as their financial contributions; however, I could not help but notice the disturbing discrepancy amongst the schools' lists. Why are some of our children asked to provide reams of copy paper, Post-It Note pads and 100 pencils each?

I further noticed that our schools in the lower-income parts of town had the more expensive lists. One potential donor even returned a student's supply list that she had planned to fill, saying it was just too expensive and she could not manage it.

I do not hold educators at fault; I know they often donate to their own classrooms to keep it supplied. As such, I see this as an opportunity (as I hope you do, too) to step up to the plate and help.

You can vote for mill levies, you can volunteer at schools, and you can donate supplies directly to the classrooms or social service agencies for distribution, as those supplies are needed year-round. Children from low-income families should not be left to carry the burden of supplying their own classrooms with what our community should be providing!

Amy Aquirre

Billings

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