Community rises to make sure kids have school supplies

BISMARCK, N.D. - Students in need of supplies throughout the year won't have to look far.

The Bismarck-Mandan community donated to the annual Fill the Bus campaign, and Friday the supplies were distributed to counselors and other administrators across districts.

Hundreds of backpacks, glue sticks, folders, pens and more, plus thousands of dollars were donated to the Bismarck school district. And they in turn give it to schools in the area to help thousands of kids.

It's back to school time for not only kids, but teachers and other school administrators. And Friday, counselors, social workers and agencies serving children stopped by to pick up supplies donated by the community to help kids out in the coming year.

“I think in Bismarck, sometimes people don't always know the amount of need that we have,” said Chris Narum, Centennial counselor.

Narum says it's amazing to see the support everyone offers each year. District officials say on top of all the supplies donated, they also received about $6,600 to spend on additional items needed.

“You would think that after 23 years that you'd see a lessening of the financial donations, of the school supplies donations. We just haven't seen that, our communities are fantastic about supporting children,” said Renae Walker, Bismarck Public Schools community relations director.

The supplies go not only to the Bismarck schools, but also to Mandan, private schools and other districts in the area. Narum says having extra items on hand can help new students to feel more comfortable if they're just starting out.

“Important that, you know, we make them feel welcomed and just get them what they need right away so that they can fit in and not feel awkward that they don't have folders or don't have markers, and so they're asking people for stuff,” Narum said.

The donations help about 3,000 kids throughout the year.

This is the 23rd year of collecting and distributing the school supplies.