Roanoke Valley students in need to benefit from ‘Load the Bus’ School Supply Drive

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ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) – Roanoke County Public Schools is joining with Roanoke City Public Schools and Salem City Public Schools for a “Load the Bus” School Supply Drive at area Walmart stores in Bonsack, Clearbrook, Salem and Valley View.

“We’ve been working with Walmart for almost 20 years now, and we’re incredibly thankful for all the support Walmart gives kids in need all across the Roanoke Valley. Every year they seem to step it up just one little bit more, with Walmart’s help we have provided hundreds of thousands of dollars of school supplies for kids over the past nearly 20 years.”

Chuck Lionberger – Roanoke County Public Schools – Director of Community Relations

Due to COVID-19, this year will be a little different as there will not be actual buses to load with donated items at the participating Walmart stores in the Roanoke Valley. However, there will be collection bins at checkout lines.

“This year there will be no school buses outside Walmart, and you won’t see school folks outside handing out flyers and things like that. Normally we have teachers, administrators and try to have some students and sports clubs and all that, kind of have a fun event. We can’t do any of that this year, due to social distancing reasons, and due to other restrictions created by the current pandemic.”

Chuck Lionberger – Roanoke County Public Schools – Director of Community Relations

The “Load the Bus” event has done a great deal for the Roanoke Valley, raising awareness and most importantly school supplies.

“Just in Roanoke County, just last year we collected around $20,000 dollars worth of school supplies, again, that’s an estimated retail value.

Chuck Lionberger – Roanoke County Public Schools – Director of Community Relations

School supplies are being collected for students in need through Aug. 9.

Items being asked for include:

  • Backpacks
  • Glue Sticks
  • Notebooks
  • 3-Ring Binders
  • Crayons
  • Colored Pencils
  • Notebook Paper (college and wide-ruled)
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Highlighters
  • Rulers
  • Folders
  • Scissors
  • Construction Paper

Classroom items are also being sought after. Those items include:

  • Tissues
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Printer Paper
  • Dry-Erase Markers
  • Other notable items students use in the classroom

Every item donated will go directly to help children in need in the area.

“Every single sheet of paper, every single crayon, every single pen, and every single pencil stays here in the Roanoke Valley and goes to help kids right here in the Roanoke Valley.”

Chuck Lionberger – Roanoke County Public Schools – Director of Community Relations

“Each year, thousands of children across the Roanoke Valley begin school without the supplies they need to be successful. “Walmart is teaming up with area school systems to work together to provide the tools our children need in school.  Every single donation will help a student learn and achieve, especially this year when so many families are in need.”

Dr. Ken Nicely – Roanoke County Schools Acting Superintendent

This coming weekend, Virginia will hold its annual Tax-Free weekend, running Aug. 7-9 where select back-to-school items, as well as hurricane preparedness items, can be purchased, tax-free. Click here to see a list of qualifying items.

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