IRVINE, Ky. (LEX 18) — The new school year is just around the corner, and soon, parents across the Bluegrass will be hitting stores with their yearly school supply list. But, not in Estill County.
The Estill County Board of Education has announced they will be providing free school supplies to all K-12 students in the 2021-2022 school year.
"We want to be able to make sure that this is one burden we can remove from your plate," said Superintendent Jeff Saylor.
Saylor said Estill County families faced enough financial burden over the past 16 months between the COVID-19 pandemic and historic flooding that wreaked devastation across the community.
Providing school supplies is their way of helping families overcome their challenges.
"I'm sure that this is a small part, but it's just a gesture to our families to say, 'Hey. We know. We understand. We care'," Saylor said.
The district is allocating $65-$70,000 of CARES ACT funding to buying the supplies.
Donald Norton, the director of pupil personnel, is spearheading the effort. He said this decision will help remove socioeconomic barriers from families across the board.
"We know that many families in Estill County are very proud, and they may struggle with coming to somebody and saying that we need help. We are hoping that this will be a way to say, 'Here's help whether you ask for it or not,'" Norton said.
Estill County schools will not release supply lists this year.
All supplies will be distributed in class during the first week of school.
Backpacks are the only items that will not be provided. If any family needs assistance with purchasing a backpack, they can contact their school's family resource center.