In the Griffin-Spalding County School System, that situation has been minimized for the second consecutive year because of the efforts of Norcom, a Griffin-based manufacturer of paper products such as notebooks, filler paper, pocket folders and similar items.
Tuesday’s Kids In Need Store, where teachers picked up free school supplies for their classrooms, was held at Spalding High School and supplies were available for 850 school system teachers as well as 50 of the county’s private school teachers.
This really helps the children from families in the lower income bracket, said Spalding High School Community-Based Instruction Program Director Pat Akin.
“We appreciate especially the papers and the pens. We use an inordinate amount of them and a lot of kids don’t have the money in their home economic situations to afford them,” Akin said while pushing his basket of school supplies through the line. “It supplies a great need in the community. They have covered the bases with folders, papers and stuff like that.”
Griffin-Spalding teachers were already receiving free school supplies from the Atlanta Community Food Bank program, but they were having to go there and pick them up. It was Norcom President Hal Rahn who came up with the initial idea in 2007 to host the Kids In Need Store in the county. He also secured heavy-hitting sponsors like Georgia Banking Company, Wal-Mart, Domtar, Fiber Mark, Vision Web Press and others.
The program is year-round at the Atlanta Food Bank, said Kids In Need Director Judy Stamps.
“Not only does Spalding get to come here, but teachers from eligible schools will also go there to get supplies,” Stamps said. “Because of Norcom and the distance we thought it would be a great way to get Spalding involved and get the supplies to the teachers.”
Pulling off the event was a communitywide effort. ROTC cadets from Griffin and Spalding high schools set up the store in Spalding High’s commons area, and volunteers from various civic organizations as well as the Spalding High football team and other school children volunteered throughout the day.
Spalding Regional Medical Center also joined in the effort by supplying free health screenings to all the teachers.