State superintendent visits Richmond County school

Fourth graders at Jenkins-White Elementary School recited their school creed for Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods on Tuesday after he delivered backpacks with school supplies. Woods encouraged students not just to say the words of the creed but follow it as well. AMANDA KING/STAFF

Students at Jenkins-White Elementary didn’t leave school empty-handed Tuesday.

 

Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods and Deputy Superintendent for School and District Effectiveness Stephanie Johnson visited the school, delivering 30 backpacks filled with school supplies. Faith Outreach Ministries supplied an additional 100 backpacks.

“It’s one less thing they have to think and worry about,” Woods said about the school supplies. “Providing these supplies gives them the assurance that they have all the school supplies they need to come into a classroom, sit down with a teacher and focus purely on the academics.”

The donations were made possible through the Georgia Foundation for Public Education. Monetary donations were made on the foundation’s website, while some people chose to donate backpacks and supplies.

“Our individuals were able to bring bookbags straight to the department. Once we had a collection of money, then we ordered the supplies online and had a day in which we packed them,” Woods said.

The estimated average cost of school supplies varies from $180 to $500 per child, depending on age and school requirements. With nearly 15 percent of Georgia’s families living in poverty, the additional cost of school supplies can be impossible for some families.

“We do struggle with poverty throughout [the state],” Woods said. “One thing I have found out is that Georgia is a very generous state and when there is a need…they have risen to the occassion.”

Woods and his team made previous stops in Tifton and East Sylvania to deliver backpacks and will conclude the tour in Columbus on Thursday.

For more information on the Georgia Foundation for Public Education, visit gfpe.org.

Contact Amanda King at 706-843-3341 or amanda.king@augustachronicle.com.

 

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