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Pearl River County students receive school supplies

Students in the Poplarville School District will have no lack of school supplies this year thanks to Backpack Buddies of Poplarville, Keesler Federal Credit Union and a grant from United Methodist Church. Keesler will also provide school supplies to kindergartners in the Picayune and Pearl River County school districts.

Backpacks for Bright Futures is a Keesler Federal Credit Union program that provides assorted school supplies and backpacks to kindergartners in local school districts including Picayune, Poplarville and Pearl River County school districts.

“This is the second year we’ve done this for every kindergarten student in the six southern Mississippi counties,” Sharon Keller, vice president of marketing at Keesler, wrote in a statement to the Item.

Keller stated that parents generally spend $45 to $50 per student on school supplies for a new school year.

“We wanted to relieve some of the burden for the parents of kindergarten students,” Keller wrote. “We hope it will be even more helpful this year with so many people out of work or having to wait to go back to work.”

Backpacks for Bright Futures will provide school supplies to 64 schools in total.

“We’ve provided supplies for 6,700 kindergarten students in all of the elementary schools in 16 public school districts in South Mississippi,” Keller wrote.

Keller wrote that giving back to the community was the main goal of the program.

“We wanted to do that in a way that would support children’s education and giving school supplies and backpacks to kindergarten students would be one of their first-year positive experiences,” Keller wrote. “Some families don’t have the funds to purchase these materials.”

Backpack Buddies of Poplarville is also doing its part to make sure that local students have the supplies they need to start the year off right.

Through a grant from Poplarville First United Methodist Church and Keesler, Backpack Buddies of Poplarville is providing backpacks and school supplies for all students who were registered in the backpack buddies program last year. Carol Williams of Backpack Buddies of Poplarville said the program will help students in grades 1 through 12.

“We have provided each child with a backpack that is filled with the school supplies they need for the upcoming year,” Williams said.

Williams said the program delivered the backpacks to the appropriate schools so they could be handed out.

Williams said more than 100 students will be receiving backpacks this year through the program due to the grants received.

“I think that the buddies were all very appreciative of it,” Williams said.