Back-to-school comes with costs

Binders, pens, markers — it all adds up.

Salvation Army hopes to distribute 800 backpacks with supplies to needy families

CBC News reporter Adrian Cheung checked the prices for a list of supplies for a Grade 7 student and found the bill reached $125. (CBC)

Binders, pens, markers — the cost of outfitting students for school can quickly add up.

Based on a list of supplies for a Grade 7 student in Regina's public school system, CBC Reporter Adrian Cheung did some price checking and found the bill could reach $175. That is not bad, considering an estimate by the credit card company Visa pegged the average amount spent in Canada for back-to-school items at $325.

Saskatchewan's Minister of Education, Don Morgan, spent part of Thursday promoting a program by The Salvation Army which gathers basic school supplies and distributes them to families in need.

"This gets them on the right step from day one," Morgan said of the initiative. "[Children] don't have to be embarrassed that they don't have a backpack. That they don't have proper supplies."

Val Wiks, program coordinator for the Salvation Army in Regina, said the back-to-school campaign also helps families that are new to the city and unsure of what is needed.

"They're new to the city, they're new to the country," Wiks said. "It's fun to watch as parents are very shocked and surprised that there is a program like this for their kids."

The agency hopes to distribute about 800 backpacks filled with a variety of school supplies.

Donations for the campaign can be left at Salvation Army Thrift Stores in Regina or downtown at the Regina Haven of Hope Ministries on 2240 - 13th Avenue (at the intersection with Lorne Street).

The agency organizes donations according to age and grades and distributes them to families that have registered for the Back-To-School campaign.



With files from CBC's Adrian Cheung


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