By Kaitlin Fleming
August marks the end of summer and the beginning of the school year. That means that July is the prime time for “back to school” shopping.
Etowah County elementary schools have provided shopping lists for parents to use, to ensure that each student has the supplies they need. However, some parents cannot afford these items.
What exactly can parents expect at the checkout counter? Fortunately local retailers mark down common school supply items, meaning that notebooks and folders are about 20 cents each. Unfortunately all of the small items add up quickly.
Here are the estimated totals for grades Kindergarten through Sixth Grade: Kindergarten-$55, First Grade-$50, Second Grade-$50, Third Grade-$40, Fourth Grade-$40, Fifth Grade-$75 and Sixth Grade-$35. These estimated totals are before taxes and not including the classroom technology fees which can be upwards of $25.
Parents who struggle to provide their children with the proper school supplies aren’t alone. Local charities and organizations, such as the Family Success Center, a United Way agency, help out by collecting donations and distributing them.
One way this organization helps out is with the local event Cram the Van.Cram the Van is an event that takes place outside of local Wal-Mart stores, where participants purchase school supplies and then drop them off at participating stores such as the East Gadsden and Attalla locations. The event will be held this year from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 6. The collected supplies will be delivered to Attalla, West End, Highland, Duck Springs, Ivalee, Walnut Park, Striplin, Adams, Donahoo, Floyd and Thompson elementary schools.
Another relief to parents is Alabama’s Sales Tax Free Holiday on August 5 through August 7. This “holiday” allows people to purchase school supply items without the added cost of taxes.
For a list of items that can be purchased during this holiday, visitrevenue.alabama.gov/salestax.