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Gutknecht: It is school supply season again

As I walked into Walmart Wednesday afternoon during my lunch hour, I was immediately hit by the displays of school supplies at the front of the store.

I was running in the store to grab supplies to wrap a birthday gift and something for dinner that evening, but I stopped dead in my tracks. Is it really back to school season already?

I meandered through the supplies, looking at the things I could remember buying when I was in school. I also saw the things that my mom insisted I didn’t need, but I most definitely thought I had to have.

As I looked through the supplies, I found myself making a mental tally in my head. This is something I never did as a child, but as an adult I’ve come to the realization that the essentials in life are a lot more expensive than I ever imagined.

Mechanical pencils: $4; Index cards: $6; Notebook paper: $2; Colored pencils: $7; Composition book: $2; Pens: $6 … and the list goes on.

I easily found myself building up quite the bill in my head for all the supplies I would need for the first day of school - if I was still a student, of course.

Growing up, my parents were able to provide me with all the school supplies I needed. Sure, my mom didn’t let me buy that fancy magnetic mirror for my locker that I would have only used once, but I had everything I needed no questions asked. That being said, I’ve come to realize that isn’t always the reality for all students.

Over the past few months, I have had the privilege to represent The Covington News and the Rotary Club of Covington on the Newton County Sheriff’s Office Back to School Giveaway planning committee. As The News and Rotary Club are partners in the giveaway, I have been able to sit in and be a active member on the discussions in planning this big event.

The work that goes in behind the scenes to collect donations, pack the bags and organize the event is mind-blowing. NCSO and all of its volunteers are putting in a ton of work to provide a school supply starter kit for local students.

If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to reach out to the sheriff’s office, or one of the partner organizations, and ask about volunteering or donating to the event. It’s not too late and your donation could make all the difference in the lives of the kids in our community.

If you are in need of assistance with school supplies to start the year, I encourage you to pay a visit to Newton High School at noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, July 28. It is free of charge and is looking to be a fun-filled day with activities for children, a health fair and more.

They say “It takes a village to raise a child.” Well, our children are about to go back to school and it is up to us to make sure they’re prepared.

Jackie Gutknecht is the managing editor of The Covington News. She can be reached at or 770-728-14009. Twitter: @jack­ieg1991