School supply drive happening this week in Salem


Shawn Nowlin

Despite some changes to the upcoming academic year, students still need school supplies. Salem City Public Schools once again is joining Roanoke City Public Schools and Roanoke County Public Schools for the Load the Bus for Kids Supply Drive.

Supplies will be collected at any of the Roanoke Valley Walmart locations through Virginia’s Tax-Free Weekend, August 7-9. People can drop off supplies at registers and bins throughout the day. To prioritize safety, mask use and social distancing will be emphasized.

Besides standard items such as pencils and notebooks, many families also need assistance with other items. They include glue sticks, highlighters, rules, folders, scissors and construction paper. Classroom items like printer paper, tissues, hand sanitizer and dry erase markers are also needed.

The school supply drive helps ease a financial burden for many local families. Salem parent Jessica Smith and her son Kyle plan on donating to the Salem Walmart on Saturday. “Even before COVID-19, so many families were struggling to get by. More than ever we need acts of kindness. I will be donating as many supplies as I can,” Jessica said.

Added Kyle, “I will be a high school sophomore this year. I am hopeful, but to be perfectly honest, I’m not 100 percent sure how the school year is going to go. I sent out a massive group text to my friends to participate in this supply drive and got a lot of positive feedback.”

Any money collected over the weekend will be used to purchase additional school supplies.

“Each year, thousands of children across the Roanoke Valley begin school without the supplies they need to be successful,” said Roanoke County Public Schools Acting Superintendent Dr. Ken Nicely.  “Walmart is teaming up with area school systems to work together to provide the tools our children need in school.  Every single donation will help a student learn and achieve, especially this year when so many families are in need.”