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Local group donates school supplies
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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 Employer 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."