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Fulton County youth receive school supplies as costs rise | Events

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Fulton County youth receive school supplies as costs rise
Fulton County youth receive school supplies as costs rise

FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Shopping for back to school supplies can present challenges for parents trying to make ends meet and the outlook is not improving. Huntingdon Bank’s Annual Backpack Index reports double digit increases in school supply costs.

As Fulton County, Atlanta and other metro Atlanta schools prepare to open for the fall, Fulton County Commission Chairman John H. Eaves, the Fulton County Office of Children and Youth and Fulton County Health and Wellness sponsored a back to school event on Tuesday, July 29 to help parents to obtain needed school supplies.

The event at Atlanta Technical College featured school supply giveaways and free haircuts along with information and education. The event attracted 500 participants with 224 children receiving haircuts and 300 taking home school supplies.

“I hope our efforts will help these young people and their parents prepare to start a productive new school year on the right note,” said Chairman Eaves. “Many of them now have some of the tools they need to do their best in the classroom.”

According to the Huntingdon Bank’s Annual Backpack Index, parents can expect to see the following costs compared to 2013:

• $642 for elementary school children, an 11 percent increase
• $918 for middle school children, a 20 percent increase
• $1,284 for high school students, a 5 percent hike

The Backpack Index attributes most of the cost increases to the following:
• Increased fees for standardized testing
• Field trips and pay to play fees
• Gym uniform fees

The Index also reports that some schools are requiring students to buy their computer tablets because more schools are using tablets in the classroom.

The Fulton County Office of Children and Youth provides services throughout the year to help parents/guardians to provide children with information and resources to help them succeed in school.  Tutorial Assistance is provided to children enrolled in Fulton County programs such as Kinship Care and START (Services to Reach and Teach).

Other programs offered include Teen DADS (Determined, Active, Dedicated, Supportive), the Fulton County Youth Commission, Priceless University, Youth Leadership Academy for Boys and Youth Leadership Academy for Girls.

The following money-saving strategies are offered to by Atlanta Communities in Schools for parents still in need of supplies for their children:

• Recycle folders, backpacks and other items from previous school years
• Organize a swap with neighbors of new or gently used school supplies
• Check with community organizations to determine if donated items are available
• Shop for school supplies during Georgia’s tax-free weekend (August 1 -2)
• Compare prices on supplies at various retail stores

“For parents in our county, the tax-free weekend and seasonal discounts combine to provide an excellent opportunity to stock up on what your children need with your budget in mind”, says Fulton County Commission Chairman John Eaves.

For more information about community partners, services and resources offered through Fulton County, call Fulton County Health and Human Services at 404-613-7944.