MARKED TREE, Ark- The COVID-19 pandemic has put financial constraints on many families.
The Marked Tree School District is hoping to ease the burden by providing their elementary students with all the necessary school supplies.
“Back to school is a stressful time anyways,” says Marked Tree School District Superintendent Matt Wright. “Kids need clothes, supplies and you add that on top of being in the middle of a pandemic and trying to make sure you’re feeding your family. That’s a burden. In uncertain times we want our families to know they can count on us.”
Wright says they were thinking of ways to help their families when the idea was brought to him by teachers.
He says with people coming in and out of the school, he knows the chance of COVID being brought into the building and spreading.
With the chance of having to close at a moment’s notice if that happened, he rather have parents spend money on supplies to support distance learning.
“If we’re here to serve out families and we’re here to serve our students a lot of our families are struggling with unemployment, reduced hours and then you add on top of that the potential to have temporary shut down’s,” says Wright. “Parents are gonna need some supplies at home.”
Wright says they were able to move around funds in their budget, as well as eliminate unnecessary spending.
The district did consider purchasing supplies for the junior and high school but says all students need is pencils, paper, and folders.
Wright says Chromebooks Laptops and calculators are provided to students already so they knew elementary students would be in need the most supplies.
He explains what free supplies students can expect in their desks when they arrive back in the classroom this fall.
“Our typical school supply list has things like crayons, markers, construction paper, and scissors,” says Wright. We’ve even had Germ-X on there, pencils, paper. The only thing we’re asking our parents to send with their elementary kids with is a backpack. That’s all they need the rest of it we’re gonna take care of.”
The district has included a post on their Facebook page including supply suggestions for parents to purchase if they do switch back to distance learning.