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Communities in Schools has kicked off its 2008 School Tools campaign that collects pencils and other school supplies for children in need.
The campaign, now in its 12th year, is the area's largest school supply collection.
Classroom Central and WSOC-TV are again partnering with the initiative, which began Friday and runs through Aug. 31.
Businesses and individuals are asked to donate various supplies, which will be given to children who need them.
Communities in Schools reports that more than 5,500 students, or 49 percent, in the Lancaster County School District qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, which is an indicator of need.
"Many of these students will show up on their first day of school without pencils or paper," School Tools organizer Terri Lee said. "Their parents are faced with finding affordable housing, buying food and gas, and unfortunately, school supplies take a back seat to these more pressing needs."
Stores and others businesses around the county will feature drop-off boxes where you can leave items. All supplies donated in the county will remain here, Lee said.
The most-needed supplies are pencils, paper, book bags, composition books, markers, color pencils, highlighters, three-ring binders, notebook dividers, student scissors, rulers, erasers and glue sticks.
"The need for donated school supplies for these families is great – especially this year in light of rising food and gas prices," Lee said.
Supplies or donations can also be dropped at the Communities in Schools office at 1240 Children's Ave. in Lancaster.
For detail, contact Lee at 285-2311 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
– If you bring a handful of supplies to Charlotte Knight's baseball stadium on Aug. 22, you will get in the game for free.
The game starts at 7 p.m.
– Aug. 23 is Postal Collection Day. On that Saturday, mail carriers will collect school supplies left at residential mail boxes.
Contact reporter Jesef Williams at email@example.com or at (803) 283-1152