Parents and guardians of students attending El Reno Public Schools for the 2019-2020 term will have a hard time inding school supply lists at local retailers.
That’s because they won’t be needed.
The district announced Thursday that all students, from the 3-year-old Head Start program through 12th grade will receive free school supplies thanks to a major grant and donations from local partnerships.
“Community partnerships are the backbone of our district. We have so many wonderful partners who make it possible for our students to thrive and we hope that our community will show their appreciation of their generosity,” said El Reno Superintendent Craig McVay.
The plan to purchase school supplies in bulk and distribute them free to students has been tossed around for several years, said Brooke Robertson, Community Outreach director for the district.
“This is huge and we will not be putting out any school supply lists this year. It’s something that we have wanted to do for a while but all the pieces didn't fall into place.
“At the end of this past school year it all fell into place with this grant and our local partnerships to help fill in the gaps,” said Robertson.
Robertson said if students wish to take part in the free school supplies, all they will have to purchase is a backpack. Supplies will be distributed on the first day of school set for Aug. 15.
Total cost of providing school supplies to all students is not known at this point, said Robertson.
“We have not purchased all the supplies yet so it’s hard to have an exact figure,” said Robertson.
The Ashbrook Foundation gave a $40,000 grant to the project. The rest of the cost will be picked up by sponsors Blessing Baskets, ALLOT Initiative, Heaston Church and El Reno Walmart.
Robertson said more details will be available at the district’s free community health fair set for July 25 from 8 a.m. until noon at Jenks Simmons Field House. Details are also on the district’s website at www.elrenops.org.