The Cambridge schools are offering free school supplies to students who may need them this fall.

The Cambridge School District is working with the Cambridge Food Pantry and the Cambridge Area Resource Team (CART) to offer families free school supplies before class begins in September.

Families can pick up supplies on Monday, Aug. 17 from 4-7 p.m. at Nikolay Middle School, 211 South St. Visitors can pull their cars into the pick-up circle in front of the middle school, and supplies will be brought out to their cars based on grade.

Kristin Gowan, the school district’s social worker and a CART board member, is one of the event’s organizers.

Gowan said even though it hasn’t been decided whether students will return to school in-person, or continue virtually, they’ll still need supplies.

“At home, kids will be engaged with school through various hands-on projects, activities, skill-building, writing and math. It will be vital they have supplies,” Gowan said in an email.

And if students return to school in person, “it may even be more imperative that each student has a full set of supplies, since there will be restrictions on sharing,” she added.

The district has offered a school supply giveaway for the past seven years, Gowan said. She thought this event offers a sense of normalcy, a connection to school and a way to support parents, regardless of what fall looks like.

“Many families are experiencing stress either because of tight finances or because of the decision facing us with safety of returning to school. Knowing that school supplies are taken care of can be a big relief,” Gowan said.

This year’s event won’t have a meal or a clothing giveaway, like it has in previous years, Gowan said, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The school district is looking for donations for the giveaway, Gowan said, both monetary and supply.

Financial donations might be easiest for families this fall, Gowan said in her communications to families and on social media. Financial donations can be dropped off at the district office, 403 Blue Jay Way, or any of the three Cambridge school offices. Checks should be payable to Cambridge Schools. Donations are also accepted by CART social media pages and website, cartforhelp.org.CART is also accepting donations.

Supplies can be placed in the marked bins outside each school office by Aug. 12.

Items most needed this year are backpacks, TI-30X scientific calculators, graph composition notebooks, highlighters, mechanical pencils, #2 pencils, 2” binders, sharpies markers, post-it notes, glue sticks, Crayola markers, scissors and headphones.

For more information, contact Gowan at kgowan@cambridge.k12.wi.us or 608-213-5819.

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