School supply project has large increase in children - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

School supply project has large increase in children

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It's August and that means back to school and with that comes the long list of school supplies needed every year.

This year, for more families than ever in Black Hawk County; that's an extra cost they can't afford.
 One group is filling the need.

Pencils, paper, crayons, and glue sticks by the thousands.

The Back to School Project has spent the last two decades giving low income students in supplies they need.

"We've been to Waverly, Independence, Dubuque, and all kinds of places just to get enough spiral," said Ruth Orth. "We need about 17 or 18,000 in spirals."

This year the children needing help has increased by 500; a new record.
  And with so many, the project had to close registration early.

"A lot of it has to do with the economy; the recent lay offs," said Ruth Orth. "A lot of people are single income families now, that use to be two incomes."
 This year the project will be able to serve close to 3,500 students.

In just a few short hours, the gym at the Lou Henry Elementary will be filled with 75 different school supplies for Cedar Valley children."  
Its a year-round process to collect enough supplies, but for one organizer the children make it worth while.

"She just came back in to say thank you for the supplies," said Larry Orth. "Her parents hadn't prompted her. She just had a neat heart for appreciating what she had gotten."

 Just one of many stories, that Larry has and with more children this year, there is likely to be many more.

Come next Wednesday, 3,500 elementary and middle school students will come to Lou Henry Elementary to pick up the items they need to be ready to learn.

Before that organizers say they do still need help throughout the week sorting and packing the supplies.
They just ask that volunteers are able to lift and carry heavy loads.

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