rom one student in 1998 to 1009 students in 2018, the upcoming school year will be Operation Backpack’s 21st year assisting students with school supplies thanks to generous donations from the community.

School supplies will be available at the McDowell Academy of Innovation (MAI) gym July 29 through August 12, Monday to Thursday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. for McDowell County School students, K-12.

Supplies will only be available during the summer on these days. If families are unable to come during these days and times, they will need to see their school counselor, principal or student's teacher to request school supplies.

Eastfield Global Magnet School will have supplies available at Meet the Teacher/Open House on Wednesday from 4-6 p.m.

The goal of Operation Backpack is to provide all underprivileged children of McDowell County Schools with a new backpack and school supplies. Although the majority of the supplies are distributed during the a few weeks prior to school starting, the organization will supply students year-round. During the school year, students can let their principal, counselor and/or teacher know when they need supplies.

Operation Backpack will provide assistance as long as supplies are available.

Supplies are given to students based on grade level and include, but are not limited to: backpack, binder, notebook paper, pocket folders, erasers, pens, pencils: #2 & colored, crayons, glue, scissors, markers, and pencil boxes/pouches.

Last year, Operation Backpack started the “Classroom Project in 2018. Each of the county’s 368 public school classrooms K-12 received two boxes of tissue and two containers of sanitizing wipes. These items are essential and much appreciated to help limit flu and other sickness absences.

The goal is to continue to expand this assistance in addition to continuing to provide supplies to individual students.

Could you sponsor a classroom through a monetary or supply collection as an individual or group (church, business, etc.)? Supplies and monetary donations are appreciated and needed. Donations are accepted year-round. Monetary donations may be written to The Endowment Fund, for Operation Backpack and/or Classroom Project. Donations may be mailed or brought to McDowell County Schools, 334 S. Main St., Marion, NC 28752.

For more information, contact melanie.dunham@mcdowell.k12.nc.us or 828-652-4535 x106.

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