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Editorial: Help equip kids for school year


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To play baseball, you need a ball and a bat at a minimum. Gloves for the fielders would be helpful, too.

Without these items, the game is impossible. With them, you can play.

And if your equipment is new, you can picture the pride that could create in a young team, especially one that hasn’t enjoyed a great deal of success in the past.

This is the situation for many students from disadvantaged households at the start of the school year. While their friends will begin the school year with new backpacks, unblemished erasers, unbroken crayons, new markers, sharpened pencils and pens filled with ink, youngsters from low-income families might not have the supplies they need.

Their team and its players are already at a psychological disadvantage, and the season —read that, school year — hasn’t even begun.

But help is available in the form of Fast Track, a program of the United Way of Johnson County. This effort collects school supplies and distributes them to qualified students in the county.

Like the United Way campaign itself, though, Fast Track cannot serve these kids without the help of the public. Organizers have planned several “Stuff the Bus” events in the coming weeks to collect school supplies for needy students. In addition, many area churches will collect materials this summer.

You can either purchase supplies ahead of time and drop them off on the Stuff the Bus days or buy materials and deposit them in the bus as you leave the store.

So take a moment while shopping during the next few weeks to buy items for children in need or go out on one of the Stuff the Bus days.

A box of pencils, a new notebook or a new backpack might not seem like much, but through Fast Track and with your help, many Johnson County youngsters won’t start the school year a step behind the rest of their class.

And even more importantly, they will know that people in the community care about them and their success.

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