MOSES LAKE — The Big Bend Community College Veteran Resource Office delivered more than 20 boxes of school supplies to North and Larson Heights Elementary Schools in Moses Lake this week.
Inside the boxes were numerous sets of all the back-to-school necessities including paper, pens and pencils, notebooks, binders, glue sticks, colored pencils and crayons. A portion of these supplies came from the group’s recent school supply distribution event.
“With a modest amount of supplies remaining after the event, there developed a question of how best to disposition them,” said BBCC Veteran Resource Officer Jim Leland. “As I had already met my objective to serve service members and their families, the next logical step was to serve our community.”
Leland reached out to the college’s neighboring elementary schools, North and Larson Heights, to see if either school could use the extra supplies.
“With the idea manifesting quite later, after school had already begun, we weren’t sure there would be a demand,” he said. “But their response was immediate and urgent. Not only was there a need, it was dire.”
Leland said he wanted to make sure each school got enough of what they needed, so he reached out the rest of the Big Bend community to see if he could secure more supplies. With the help of the BBCC Foundation, he was able to raise $740 to put towards additional supplies.
The supplies were taken to the schools Thursday, and distributed among teachers. Larson Heights Instructional Coach Elizabeth Salmeron said the extra supplies are a relief to both students and teachers.
“We have some really wonderful kids and families, but a lot of times because money is tight or you have multiple kids it’s not always feasible to get all the supplies that they’re going to need,” she said. “This really benefits our students because they are going to be able to have what’s needed and they’re not going to feel like they’re not contributing.”
Having an extra stash of school supplies is helpful for teachers as well, as some use their own money to provide for students who either don’t have supplies or who use them up before the end of the school year.
“It’s going to relieve some of their pockets, because they do usually end up purchasing their own supplies. And things go fast- crayons break, pencils get too short to sharpen anymore and notebooks get filled up,” said Salmeron. “This is a big relief for them as well.”