Back packs for the children given out by World Vision

Published 7:23 pm Tuesday, July 24, 2007

World Vision is assisting children and parents in Picayune by providing backpacks packed with school supplies.

The back packs are being handed out in the Picayune school district during registration Monday and Tuesday for elementary and junior high students, said World Vision Program Director Audrey Black.

More schools in the county may benefit from World Vision’s generosity. The organization will have representatives in the Poplarville school district on its registration day to hand out the backpacks. Faith and non-profit organizations also have been provided a number of the back packs to hand out.

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“World Vision’s focus is on children and allowing them to reach their full God-given potential,” Black said.

Between Mississippi and Louisiana, about 8,000 of the book bags will be handed out to families who can use them, Black said. Each of those bags was stuffed with school supplies by about 20 volunteers. At the Picayune school district, World Vision expects about 2,600 students to register, so they have that many bags ready and waiting.

Supplies in the bags include scissors, pens, pencils, glue, crayons, rulers, notebook paper, index cards, folders, pencil sharpeners and pencil pouches.

“We just want to be able to give students something to start the school year off and defray the cost to the parents,” Black said.

To help the teachers with their school supply needs, World Vision plans to have them over to let them “shop” for supplies that they may need. On certain occasions World Vision also will send out supplies to the teachers at the schools so they can pick out what they or students may need, Black said.

This is all an effort of World Vision to help in the coastal rebuilding process after Hurricane Katrina, Black said. World Vision has been in Picayune since two days after the storm and will be in the area until January 2009.

Assisting with the book bag distribution were World Vision Storehouse manager Jason Humbles and administrative assistant Bridget Gray.