With some schools starting class as early as Aug. 8, area businesses, organizations and individuals want to be sure students have what they need.
“There are many children out there who just show up with nothing,” said Michelle Mings, vice president of marketing at Firstar Bank, which sponsors an annual collection drive for Muskogee and Hilldale students.
The bank’s collection drive is one of several community drives benefiting area schools.
Firstar, formerly First National Bank of Muskogee, has collection boxes at several locations throughout Muskogee. Locations include both bank branches, 510 N. Main St. and 2215 Chandler Road; Gaddy’s Drug, Walmart, Arrowhead Mall, Big Lots and Kmart.
The Juanita Blair Farmer’s Insurance Agency seeks supplies to help 3,000 students and teachers.
“We already have our Facebook page up about the drive,” said Jennifer Hollingshead, the agency’s customer service representative.
She said the drive needs colored markers or pencils, school boxes, scissors, pens, spiral notebooks and paper.
The supplies will be distributed Aug. 4 at the agency, 112 E. Peak Blvd.
“That’s plenty of time for Hilldale students to get supplies,” Hollingshead said. “We’ll have teacher bags in which we try to put in enough supplies for 10 students.”
Students and teachers from any area schools may get supplies, she said. “We’ve had people come from Okmulgee. We even had a church come from Stilwell.”
Hollingshead said businesses can donate pens, pencils or other items with their logos.
The Muskogee Public Schools Transportation Department seeks school supplies through “Project Pencil Box.”
“The name means just what it is, a pencil box, just like in the old days, that school stuff was kept in. It used to be more like an old cigar box,” said Bobby Brewster, MPS transportation director. “This will help kids get off to a good start by having the supplies they need for class.”
Brewster said people can bring their donations of school supplies to the transportation bus lot, 621 Altamont St.
Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and Women in NAACP (WIN) are seeking school supplies, plus backpacks to put them in.
“We’ll take anything we can get, any color, any size, as long as it’s a durable backpack,” said Mary A. Reed, member of the AKA membership committee. “We want to distribute as many as we can.
Reed said the group distributed 75 backpacks full of supplies last year and hopes to give out more than 200 this year.
In Warner, First Baptist Church is collecting supplies to give away at a program July 25. Ruth Nelson, church secretary, said people can bring supplies such as loose leaf notebook paper, spiral notebooks and two-pocket folders. The church is open from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Area school supply drives
Some Firstar collection sites: Arrowhead Mall, 501 N. Main St.; Gaddy Drug, 1126 W. Broadway; Firstar Bank branches, 510 N. Main St. and 2215 Chandler Road; Kmart, 4 E. Shawnee Bypass; Walgreens west, 100 N. 32nd St.; Walmart, 1000 W. Shawnee Bypass; Big Lots at Curt’s Shopping Center; Family Dollar, 1325 S. York St.; Dollar Tree, 934 W. Shawnee Bypass.
• Alpha Kappa Alpha, Martin Luther King Center, 627 N. Third St.
• Juanita Blair Farmer’s Insurance Agency, 112 E. Peak Blvd., (918) 687-7052.
• First Baptist Church of Warner, 812 Second St. (918) 463-2380.
• Project Pencil Box, Muskogee Public Schools Transportation bus lot, 621 Altamont St., (918) 684-3730.
• Ark of Faith, 401 E. Broadway, (918) 682-8411.
• Okay Parent Teacher Association, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 25 to Aug. 12, Okay Tag Agency, northeast corner of 251 A and Oklahoma 16.
If your business, church or organization is collecting school supplies, send your information to email@example.com.
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School starting dates
• Aug. 8: Hulbert, Midway, Sequoyah, Norwood.
• Aug. 9: Hilldale, Wagoner, Warner, Webbers Falls, Wainwright.
• Aug. 15: Tahlequah.
• Aug. 16: Eufaula, Porum, Checotah, Okay.
• Aug. 17: Fort Gibson.
• Aug. 20: Oklahoma School for the Blind and Oktaha.
• Aug. 22: Muskogee.