LAURINBURG — Volunteers with the Scotland County branch of the NAACP gave hundreds of students a boost this weekend as part of the annual Back to School — Stay in School.
Loading up of the school back packs began Thursday evening at the Scotland High School gymnasium and by Saturday morning, the free school supplies were ready for students.
NAACP board member Alexis Tyson said children did not have to show any type of eligibility to get the pens, pencils, notebooks and erasers, but students did have to be present to pick up the supplies.
“The happy faces you see — some of the kids are very grateful,” Tyson said. “Last year we started giving the book bags and they just loved them. Just the smiles on their faces says it all.”
Herman Tyson, president of the county NAACP branch, said the effort would not be possible without sponsors and vendors. He added that because of job losses, not everyone can afford to buy the supplies their children need.
“This is a form of us giving back to the community and letting children know that we do care about them,” Herman Tyson said. “We’re just grateful that the community invests in our children like they do.”
State Rep. Garland Pierce said the project started at Bright Hopewell Baptist Church about 13 years ago.
“At that event we had about 300 children. From there it went over to I.E. Johnson’s Gym. It outgrew that gym and now it’s at the high school gym and we serve about 1,000 kids a year,” Pierce said. “The parents seem just as excited as the children.”
Saturday’s guest speaker was Rodney Damon Tyson, a native of Laurinburg and a 1983 graduate of Scotland High School.
Reach Terri Ferguson Smith at 910-506-3169.