Denton Main Street Association and Denton ISD have coordinated a school supply drive — with the help of about 80 local businesses.

Now you can help by donating a solid color backpack for a middle or high school student, coordinators said.

“Anyone can bring a brand-new backpack in a single color for middle school or high school students,” said Christine Gossett, the executive director of Denton Main Street. “The district is getting donations of empty, new backpacks. They have a goal of 1,000, and we’d like to reach a thousand.”

DISD community engagement specialist Courtney Martin is spearheading the district’s school supply drive. While collecting the backpacks through Main Street, Martin has been coordinating the purchase of school supplies for students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Partners are hosting “stuff the bus” drives for the district, she said.

“If parents need school supplies, they can call the counselor at their child’s campus,” Martin said, qualifying that parents should contact the counselor at the campus where the child will attend in the fall. If there aren’t school supplies available, the counselors can put the family on a waiting list, Martin said.

Main Street is collecting backpacks for middle and high school students by asking for larger backpacks that are “a little more grown up,” in color.

Martin said the core group of volunteers who launched the citywide “stuff the bus” school supply collection through the United Way of Denton County in 2018 made sure supplies were gathered during last year’s pandemic, assembling supplies for 10,000 students. This year, Martin said the initiative has purchased school supplies for 4,300 children, which she said is a typical number identified by counselors. Supplies will be distributed to the campuses starting next Monday and Tuesday.

“The supplies that we’re giving out aren’t the full supply list, but it is a start,” Martin said. “It’s a good start, especially for our little ones who like to unpack the supplies and go to the meet-the-teacher night.”

Lake Dallas ISD announced that the 2021 Elementary School Drive-Through Back 2 School Fair is canceled due to lack of funds and support staff. The drive’s website said there will be a 2022 Drive-Through Back-to-School fair to give free, stuffed backpacks, certificates for immunizations, physicals and haircuts. The drive is organized by a group called There Has To Be More Ministries, which relies on nonprofits, churches and donors for help in getting supplies, haircuts and physical exams.

For a current list of school supply drives and distributions, see our list, which can be updated by sending time, dates and places of upcoming drives and collections to cbreeding@dentonrc.com.

LUCINDA BREEDING can be reached at 940-566-6877 and via Twitter at @LBreedingDRC.

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