In back to school excitement, local event helps students prepare with school supplies

Local News

NEW WATERFORD, Ohio (WKBN) – The back to school supply lists are long, so what happens if you can’t find or afford some of the items? A local business owner and pastor is helping out.

With the new school year just weeks away, and with in-person classes returning, demand for school supplies is higher than ever.

Local pastor and business owner Jeff Schoch is working to help students get ready for the year.

On Saturday, from noon to 4 p.m., Abundant Life Fellowship in New Waterford is hosting a community outreach event for the 13th year. There will be food, clothing, games and school supplies.

“We give every student 10 tickets. They can come in and they can pick what they want. This kind of gives them ownership rather than us just giving them a full bookbag,” Schoch said.

Students then use the tickets to pick out the school supplies they want at the event.

It’s made possible through business sponsorships, a grant from a community foundation in Columbiana County and money from the church.

“We’re not here to preach to anybody, but we’re here to care for them in practical ways, and that’s one way we can do that,” Schoch said.

One teacher from the area said these supplies mean a lot to students and can be hard to come by in the middle of a pandemic.

“I’m excited to go back to school. I know that some of these kids are. We’re a little bummed the summer’s ending, but hopefully this will be a nice piece of excitement for the kids and for the teachers and for the local school districts,” said local teacher Mayson Dickinson.

Dickinson also works for Next Level Fitness and they recently held a glow-in-the-dark kickboxing class.

Owner Jesse Bell explains how it worked to benefit local schools.

“The ticket to get in was to just donate school supplies. We have two locations, and at each location we’re donating to that district,” Bell said.

Those districts are Austintown and Boardman.

They held the event to make sure students have what they need for a successful year.

These items are tax exempt:

  • Clothing that’s $75 or less
  • Any school item $20 or less
  • Any item of school instructional material that’s $20 or less

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