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Jun 18, 2012
Back-to-School Needs + Limited Income = Pressure for Parents
School just got out, it’s not officially the summer yet, and we’re already talking about back-to-school? Yes, because when assistance will be needed for next year, now is the time to start researching options. Back-to-school resources often are depleted before summer is even half over.
Nobody ever said having a child would be cheap, and at back-to-school time, parents feel significant financial pressure. Uniforms, paper, backpacks, new clothes, markers, pens, oh, the list goes on – and those are just the basics –forget about the latest looks, shoes, and other accessories our kids “have” to have. All parents want to send their children to school with confidence and the tools needed to be successful students; however, some Oklahoma parents are presented with the difficult choice of either buying school uniforms or paying the utility bills.
Oklahoma ranks higher than the national average of persons below poverty level at 16.2%, according to the US Census Bureau. Further, the National Center for Education Statistics reports that the percentage of Oklahoma school-age children participating in the Free & Reduced Lunch Program was 54% in 2009. The Food Research and Action Center states that, Oklahoma ranks ninth in the country for having hungry or food insecure citizens, with 15% of households suffering from some level of food insecurity. Clearly many Oklahomans are struggling with basic needs such as food, and school supply requirements definitely compound this problem.
To help with our community’s school supply needs, United Way of Central Oklahoma is holding a “Stuff the Van” campaign on June 21 and 22. Donations of notebook paper, copy paper, #2 pencils, scissors, pocket folders and Kleenex may be made and the van will be “stuffed” for delivery to agencies providing assistance. To make a donation, contact United Way at 405-236-8441.
Back-to-school assistance will be available in our community but in high demand and with limited supply. If you need assistance with school supplies, call 2-1-1 today to see if programs are available in your area. You can also access our resources by clicking on “2-1-1 Online” on our home page.