Springfield City Schools provides school supplies to students

Everyone blinked, and it’s already time to go back to school.

Time to get the kids back to a normal sleep schedule. Time to start practicing for fall sports.

And time to pack everyone in the car, drive to the closest store and begrudgingly buy each item on the dreaded school supply list.

It’s been a tough year economically for Springfield families – Kelsey Rivera’s included.

The pandemic, illness and other compounding circumstances caused her to be away from work for an extended period of time. Her husband was also out of a job.

“With me being the only one in the household bringing in income, it really hurt my budget,” she says. “I couldn’t really do anything with the girls.”

Rivera has two daughters, Lagonda fourth-grader Juliana and Roosevelt seventh-grader, Maya.

As she was preparing to go shopping for school supplies – the task that every mother admittedly procrastinates at some point – she found an expected gift on her Facebook timeline.

A post from Springfield City School District announced that the school district would cover the cost of all school supplies for students in preschool through eight grade for the upcoming school year.

It was every parent’s dream come true – some almost didn’t believe it was real.

“It’s really awesome that (the school district is) doing it, and it really does save some parents a lot of money,” she said.

SCSD Superintendent Dr. Bob Hill says that because the school district has been good stewards of its finances, the district was able to provide the supplies for families this year – the first time in recent history.

The only items that kids need to bring to school are a water bottle and a backpack.

“The pandemic put our students and their families through financial hardship for almost a year and a half,” Hill says. “If the district can help ease that burden, even in small ways, we will.”

The school district’s gesture couldn’t have come at a better time. In addition to any financial effects from the pandemic, American families are now also dealing with quickly rising prices of school supplies due to a shortage in the supply chain, according to recent reporting from CBS News.

The news organization reports that the extra cost that retailers are paying for goods to arrive on time is being factored into the increased prices that families are paying at stores.

On average, families are expected to spend about $850 on school supplies this year.

Even with help from savings like Walmart Rollbacks, Rivera estimates that she’s spent about $3,000 on school supplies over the years for her two daughters – a cost that experts say is climbing.

“Springfield really does need it,” Rivera says.

SCSD parents and families just like Rivera rejoiced on social media when the announcement was made. The post was shared more than 1,000 times, with comments from local parents and those beyond Clark County – some even tagging other school districts.

“Outstanding!!! This really helps a lot of households,” wrote Valencia Evans-Davis. “Thank you Springfield City School District!!!”

Another woman posted, “This is such a wonderful thing for students and families.”
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