- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 28, 2015

July 28—WARRENSBURG — More than 790 children received needed school supplies at the first Partnering Among Communities for Kids event Saturday at Maple Grove Elementary.

Jennifer Amieva from the Missouri Valley Community Action Agency in Warrensburg said colored pencils started to run out toward the end, but everyone got a majority of what they needed.

“We had people lining up at 8 a.m.,” she said. “It was so hot out that we tried to get people into the school as quickly as we could.”

One parent, Leah Morse, said, “I am surprised and thankful they did this.”

More than 125 volunteers worked Saturday to pull off the PACK event, including working on Friday to organize the materials and place the tables in order so families could start at one end and easily choose supplies as they walk in front of the tables.

Every table holds one or two items, including folders, portfolios, glue, scissors, pencils, pens and markers.

Amieva said Girl Scout Troop 1334 handed out supplies with adult Stacy Bell supervising.

“This is a small troop,” Amieva said, “and they collected enough scissors for each child and about 60 packages of markers.”

For families with several children like the Spratts, filling school supply bags can mean spending at least $400.

Jodie and Nick Spratt have eight children ranging from kindergarten to high school.

“This is great,” Jodie said “It allows us to put those dollars to something else.”

Amieva said another family needed school supplies for 11 children, which becomes a major expense.

Typical school supply costs for elementary students are estimated at about $100.

For high school students supplies can include calculators, sports shoes, electronics — tablets, smartphones and even laptop computers.

Amieva is planning the event for 2016 and said it may need a change in venue to a larger building.

“Maple Grove worked well for us this year, but I anticipate there will be 1,000 students next year,” she said. “I had no idea how big it would end up.”

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(c)2015 The Daily Star-Journal (Warrensburg, Mo.)

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