Fill this bus with school supplies for local kids in need

Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 3:59 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - With the first day of school just days away, students and parents are getting excited to go back to their academic routine. But some kids don’t have the supplies necessary to start the school year off right. That’s where Fill the Bus hopes to fill the gap.

This bus is empty, but the Bismarck Public Schools Foundation is hoping it won’t stay that way for long. “Fill the Bus” has had a successful 26-year run. The campaign is one way businesses and community members can help students get a good start to the school year.

”There were a lot of kids who were, unfortunately, coming to school and they didn’t have what they needed for the start of the school year to be academically successful. So, we started the program, and since then, it’s really taken off,” said Director of Community Relations Steve Koontz.

As students in Bismarck, Mandan and the surrounding areas head back to school, Stacy Lang, development director for the Bismarck Public Schools Foundation, says one-in-four are in need of some sort of assistance.

”Prices have increased for everything, and that includes school supplies and so when it comes down to buying about a hundred dollars worth of school supplies, and if you have four kids, that can take a toll on a family,” said Sherrice Roness, the student in transition coordinator for Bismarck Public Schools.

Since the pandemic, Fill the Bus organizers say there’s been a shift from physical donations to monetary donations but seeing all the school supplies dropped off by area businesses and individuals warms their hearts. They note that while back to school is a busy time for school supplies, there are always kids coming into the school system mid-year that need extra materials.

If you can’t make it to the buses to make a donation Wednesday, you can go to to make an online donation.

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