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Greenbrier, South Conway County schools providing free school supplies to students

Many parents expect to pay a pretty penny for school supplies for their kids, but that's not the case for every central Arkansas school.

Parents can expect to pay a pretty penny for schools supplies as the start of the school year approaches.

But, that’s not the case for every central Arkansas school.

Greenbrier Public Schools has been relieving parents of the burden of buying supplies for six years now.

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“It is just our culture to take care of students' needs,” Secondary Education Assistant Superintendent Kelli Martin said.

Boxes of school supplies are delivered to Greenbrier teachers’ doors.

“Regionally, we use some local fundraising dollars through our annual fall festival in conjunction with the operating money here for the district to fund that,” Martin said.

With the help of the district's regional education cooperative, they provide supplies for kids in kindergarten through seventh grades.

“But, now it’s just budgeted every year through our operating money as a line item because it’s so important for our families,” Martin said.

For parents and teachers, finding supplies on lists can make the back to school chaos more stressful.

“If I’m a second grade teacher, I’m going to receive packaged what I need for whether it be 18 or 20 second grade students, that’s just going to be in my classroom,” Martin said.

Over 2,000 students don’t have to worry about school supplies.

“Our goal is of course that no one is singled out and that we’re creating learning environments where everybody is included,” Martin said.

Neighboring South Conway County School District will also provide supplies for the first time this year for the entire district.

They said that 74% of the students there are low income.

Greenbrier school faculty want students to feel their best when August 13 rolls around, and this gives them a start.

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“Each of those classrooms is like a family and that can start day one where everybody has the same school supplies,” Martin said.

In Greenbrier, grades K-7 can bring backpacks, but they’re optional.

The South Conway County School District is getting some donated backpacks this year as well.

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