Lo­cal group do­nates school sup­plies

The Covington News - - Local - STAFF RE­PORTS news@cov­news.com

The Cov­ing­ton Area Em­ployer Com­mit­tee, a com­mit­ted group of hu­man re­source pro­fes­sion­als from the Cov­ing­ton area, re­cently com­pleted its first “Op­er­a­tion Back­pack.” Op­er­a­tion Back­pack 2012 was an ini­tia­tive to get much needed school sup­plies in the hands of as many chil­dren as pos­si­ble. There are thou­sands of school-aged chil­dren in New­ton County liv­ing un­der the poverty level. One of the most dev­as­tat­ing con­se­quences of poverty is the im­pact it has on the chil­dren’s ed­u­ca­tion. Cov­ing­ton’s Area Em­ploy- er Com­mit­tee sup­ported Op­er­a­tion Back­pack, a back-to-school drive, by ask­ing the gen­eral pub­lic to de­liver back­packs and/ or school sup­plies to des­ig­nated drop-off lo­ca­tions. The do­na­tions re­ceived will sup­port ap­prox­i­mately 30 Mid­dle Ridge El­e­men­tary students throughout the school year with back­packs and a sundry of school sup­plies.

Work­ing with the board of ed­u­ca­tion of­fice, the Cov­ing­ton Area Em­ployer Com­mit­tee chose Mid­dle Ridge as its re­cip­i­ent school based on need. Do­na­tions were so­licited from lo­cal in­di­vid­u­als and busi­nesses alike. Par­tic­i­pants in­clude em­ploy­ees and rep­re­sen­ta­tives from SRG Global, Ves­tar and other busi­nesses and in­dus­tries from the area.

“Af­ter speak­ing with ed­u­ca­tors, we re­al­ized there was a se­ri­ous need at Mid­dle Ridge,” said El­iz­a­beth VanTas­sell of SRG Global, chair of the sub­com­mit­tee. “There are a stag­ger­ing per­cent­age of chil­dren on a re­duced lunch pro­gram, and their par­ents have to choose be­tween ad­e­quate cloth­ing, sup­plies or food for their chil­dren. We wanted to lighten that burden. The key to a good ed­u­ca­tion is show­ing up, and show­ing up pre­pared. Our hope is next year, we throw the net out fur­ther and get more par­tic­i­pa­tion from other New­ton County busi­nesses. Ev­ery com­pany and in­di­vid­ual in our community should have a vested in­ter­est in the ed­u­ca­tion of New­ton County chil­dren. This year was a good start, next year we’ll do bet­ter. ”

“The do­na­tions re­ceived will be used to help students in need of school sup­plies,” said Alan Sat­ter­field, prin­ci­pal of Mid­dle Ridge El­e­men­tary School. “On be­half of the students, fac­ulty and staff, I would like to say thank you for the sup­port. Re­ceiv­ing such a gen­er­ous do­na­tion of­fers en­cour­age­ment and al­lows all students the op­por­tu­nity to be suc­cess­ful.”

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