Put school supplies in mailbox Saturday

Saturday is the day to put school supplies in your mail box, to support Communities in Schools' effort to give needy students the basics for classroom work this year.

Mail carriers will pick up donations on behalf of the School Tools Campaign, which is in its 12th year of aiding students in Mecklenburg and 21 surrounding counties.

This year, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools expect to have a record number of needy students, with nearly half the enrollment qualifying for free or reduced-price lunches. The worsening economy and rising unemployment are blamed.

Postal workers in the following counties and cities will participate in the pickup: Cabarrus, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Mooresville, Rowan, Union and Lancaster, S.C. A list of ZIP codes can be found on the School Tools page at tools/index.html

Supplies being sought include book bags, graphing calculators, markers, colored pencils, highlighters, 3-ring binders, notebooks, dividers, pencil pouches/boxes, student scissors, composition books, rulers and erasers.

Joining as sponsors of the program are Classroom Central, which distributes school supplies to low-income students in Mecklenburg and several surrounding counties; the U.S. Postal Service; and WSOC-TV.

Communities in Schools, a national dropout-prevention network, helping young people stay in school, currently provides services to 4,700 students in 33 Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools.

Mark Price