Affording a free public education isn't always easy.
That is hardly news to parents who find themselves in the midst of back-to-school shopping for new clothes, shoes and supplies. Sending a child to school isn't cheap under the best of circumstances. It's another expensive ball to juggle for those families struggling to make ends meet, particularly if they have more than one child to equip.
We take note, then, of the first of many back to school supply drives in our area.
The Axemen MC, a group of professional firefighters, are accepting pens, pencils, erasers, folders, spiral notebooks, dividers, index cards, highlighters, backpacks, zipper pouches, Post-It Notes, pencil boxes, rulers, tissues, crayons, wide-ruled loose leaf paper and three-ring, one-inch binders. The Axemen drive continues through Sept. 26 with goods distributed to the Jamestown Public Schools the week of Sept. 29. Donations can be taken to the Jamestown Police Dept. lobby, 200 E. Second St., Jamestown; the Jamestown fire Department, 200 Spring St., Jamestown; and Chautauqua Striders' office on the second floor of the Jamestown YMCA, 101 E. Fourth St.
The New Covenant Assembly Church, 17 Arlington Ave., Jamestown, has a limited number of school supplies to give away on a first-come, first-served basis. The giveaway includes backpacks, pens, pencils, glue, notebooks, paper and other school supplies. Sign-up was held Sunday with the supplies to be picked up on Aug. 31. For more information on how to donate, contact Brian Carnes, youth pastor, at 664-1474.
There has been a lot of debate over the past couple of years about the Common Core Learning Standards, teacher evaluations and school funding. Such weighty topics deserve lengthy and vigorous debate. It's worth noting, however, that those debates mean nothing if children don't have the basic supplies they need in the classroom.
The drives noted above aren't the only drives going on in the area, just the first two to send notices to The Post-Journal. Other organizations planning back to school supply drives can feel free to let us know about their drives by faxing an announcement to 664-5305 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We're more than happy to help get the word out about all of these worthy efforts.