Several groups in Summerside have joined together to help low-income families across P.E.I. with the cost of back-to-school supplies this fall.
Many families struggle with the long shopping list of kit bags, paper, binders and pencils that comes with the return to school. At a summer camp run by the Summerside Boys and Girls Club last week, even the youngest children are aware some of their classmates can't afford everything they'd like to get.
"They say, 'My parents don't let me buy a lot of stuff because it's too much money.' They only buy one, and not one extra," one young camper told CBC News.
This year the Boys and Girls Club will give out $20,000 worth of school supplies to students. Much of that comes from donations from businesses and people in the community.
"It's important because you want to be like everybody else. You want to fit in," said Boys and Girls Club executive director Adam Binkley.
"School is huge. There's always emphasis on education, and if you're sitting at your desk and you don't have the proper supplies that everybody around you has, you're going to feel left out."
The club is not alone in helping out. The Summerside Salvation Army spends about $9,000 a year helping kids with back-to-school. And the YMCA collected new shoes and kitbags for children on social assistance in Summerside. The YMCA hopes to expand that program to other parts of the province in future years.
The YMCA collected shoes and kit bags for children on social assistance in Summerside this year, not for the whole province.Sep 04, 2012 12:44 PM AT