Jul. 22—Springfield City School District has announced it will spend roughly $300,000 to buy school supplies for all students in grades pre-K through 8 for this upcoming school year.
Supplies given to students will include pencils, crayons, scissors and pocket folders, as well as other classroom necessities.
"The pandemic has put our students and their families through financial hardship for almost a year and a half," said Superintendent Bob Hill in a press release. "If the district can help ease that burden, even in small ways, we will. We are looking forward to our students starting the new school year off strong."
Local residents took to the Springfield News-Sun Facebook page to share their thoughts on the school district's plan.
Most residents expressed support of the district's decision.
"I think it's a great idea. Nice to see everyone trying to help our children who have been hurt by being out of school and their parents who are maybe struggling with school expenses. Hopefully things will be better by the end of the year. Kudos SCSD," said Lisa Bloomfield.
"THAT IS FABULOUS!" Christina Pascarella commented, "CONGRATULATIONS to this community!!"
"That's amazing!!! Love it!" said Julie Jones.
One commenter expressed concern over supplies running out, and which supplies were being funded.
"I don't think they should give out the entire year's worth at the beginning of the year. If you don't expect parents to be able to provide supplies for their kids at the beginning of the year, why do you expect them to when the supplies have been used up or lost?" Cindy Marie Johnson commented.
Johnson went on to write about her concerns for supplies running out halfway through the year, and pondered about the use of funding for supplies.
"Sad the school district has to spend 300,000 on pencils and crayons instead of new computers and Bunsen burners though, but at least the kids will have what they need one way or another," she said.
Others commented, wondering when or if other school districts would follow Springfield's example.
"This is awesome now if Clark Shawnee school district would do it," said Jackie Karma Spangler-Oneil.
"Kids in the county could also use the help!" commented Tina Avery.
SCSD students should only come to school with a backpack and a water bottle, a SCSD press release stated. Students will be given a year's supply of items at the start of the school year.
Communications coordinator Jenna Leinasars told the News-Sun that the district will provide school supplies to roughly 5,700 students this school year.
"After the pandemic and its associated economic implications, the district is proud to be able to provide this service to our students," she said. "Through the support of our community and good financial stewardship, we are able to provide this service to our families."