School systems pick up 10 Cares McDonald's Back to School Supplies

By Jenna Zibton - Anchor

ROANOKE (WSLS 10) -  Thank you for your donations to the 10 Cares McDonald's Back to School Supplies Drive. School districts picked up supplies at more than 50 locations across Southwest and Central Virginia Monday loading the supplies into trucks. The box at the location on Main Street in Salem was full.

"I see glue sticks in there and that's always a biggie. I see pencils, markers, notebooks, just a lot of the things that kids will need. Some backpacks too," said Diane Washenberger, Salem City Schools Director of Instruction. "I think really that we're so fortunate. People in our community really get behind our kids and tried to make the best situation for everybody and we're just very fortunate that we have this kind of support not just in activities like this but throughout the school year and the kinds of events that we have. I want to thank WSLS and McDonald's for doing this to support our kids."

The donations you made stay in the district you donated them in. It will be up to each school system to give the supplies to students in need.

"It is so great to see the WSLS 10 viewers helping children who may not have what others do and that help is being provided in counties throughout Southwestern and Central Virginia. This is the first time we teamed with McDonald's for such a drive and we really had no idea what to expect. Seeing so many give so much is heartwarming," said Garry Kelly, WSLS 10 General Manager.

The need is big in some areas. Ten out of 12 elementary schools qualify for free lunch according to the Lynchburg City Schools Education Foundation Executive Director Jodi Gillette.

"We feel as though students are best prepared to learn when they have what they need for class, you're going to feel more confident, they're going to feel more excited and they'll be more engaged in what's happening in the classroom," said Gillette.

Roanoke City Schools have a high poverty rate with around 76-percent of students qualifying for free or reduced lunches. Dr. Rita Bishop, Roanoke City School Superintendent, said by giving students school supplies it is also saying "we believe in you" and leveling the playing field for students who may not be able to afford everything needed.

"We are happy to help out local schools in one more way by collecting supplies. The children are very important to us as they are our future and McDonald's is happy to help them," said Sally Scott with McDonald's.

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