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Supplies available for low-income families

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The Ellis County Press

ELLIS COUNTY - As the long summer vacation winds down for teachers and students, it's time for parents to start stocking up on notebook paper, pens, pencils, crayons, folders and other classroom necessities.

Some parents face a monetary dilemma; buy school supplies or pay the bills.

Palmer Intermediate Principal Nancy Edwards said parents in Palmer could go to their school's principal for assistance if they cannot afford the materials their children need.

'We don't ever want a child to feel bad,' Edwards said 'Every school has had these products (school supplies) divided up.'

Ferris families needing assistance can alert their school's secretary or counselor during registration, who can assist them in getting the materials needed for class.

'The counselor gets the resources available to help (the family),' Ingram Elementary Counselor Pat Haley said.

'The items come from various donations from organizations throughout the city and county.'

The Tools for School program was spear headed in 1998 by Waxahachie resident Jennifer Thornhill.

She discovered, while volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club of Waxahachie, most of the kids in the program did not have the necessary supplies to start the school year.

After taking the club over a few years ago, the Salvation Army began working with Thornhill to turn Tools for School into a yearly community outreach program.

Parents are required to fill out an application Monday through Friday from 1-4 p.m. at the Waxahachie Salvation Army office at 620 Farley by Aug. 8 to request assistance.

'We use the poverty guidelines from the federal government,' Salvation Army Corps Officer Captain David Fesser said, noting the applications helped them determine what families are eligible for the program.

Any family facing financial difficulty is eligible for the program as long as they reside in Ellis County with school age children up to the sixth grade.

Families who apply must bring a picture id, proof of income, a utility bill proving they live in Ellis County and social security cards belonging to themselves or their children.

Last year the program gave out free school supplies to 300 students throughout the Ellis County area.

Fesser said he plans they will provide supplies this year for 'at least that many kids and possibly more.'

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