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Schools: Students will have supplies

Although proration has put local schools in a financial bind, administrators say they won’t be “passing the burden” onto parents by means of a larger school supply list.

“We’ve got a lot of time and thought into our school supply list this year,” Andalusia Elementary School principal Patty Taylor said. “We’re trying to only ask for those things the students absolutely need. Even though the school’s going to be hurting financially — as are all schools in the state — we don’t want to pass that burden onto our parents. We know many of them are struggling, too.”

Taylor said that in the past, the community has always been there to help in situations where a child’s family may not be able to afford school supplies. She said local churches and individuals will often bring extra supplies by the schools for those in need.

“We don’t ask them for it, but they show up and say, ‘we’re willing to do what we can to help,’” she said. “That’s the wonderful thing about our community, is that so many people are willing to do what they can do to help.”

Taylor pointed out that many students, particularly those in the younger grades, do not care from where their school supplies come — they are just happy to “get that nice new box of crayons.”

“I think a lot our younger children are still shielded from the ‘big picture’ of money and why they might not have the biggest and best supplies,” she said. “They don’t care where the items may come from, they’re just appreciative and happy to get that new box of crayons or markers or whatever it may be.”

Taylor reiterated that AES, and other city schools, will be certain that all children have the supplies they need regardless of the cost.

“We have a lot of teachers who are willing to spend out of their own pockets to make sure their students have what they need,” she said. “We’re not going to let a child go without.”