Lowery Middle, Ascension Parish help WBRZ raise more than $70,000 for school supply drive

STAFF REPORT @dvillechief
Lowery Middle School principal Nicole Grimes and staff helped Stuff the Bus last week with WBRZ

Lowery Middle School rolled up the sleeves and help Volunteer Ascension in collaboration with WBRZ News 2 to raise almost $73,000 worth of school supplies and stuffed a total of six buses during the 7th annual Stuff the Bus Campaign, a school supply drive to benefit children in the community on July 16 at Office Depot in Gonzales.

The public was encouraged to help WBRZ completely fill one East Baton Rouge Parish school bus and one Ascension Parish school bus with the necessary supplies for students. WBRZ’s expectations were exceeded when a total of six buses were filled with supplies. “This community comes together every year to make sure that young people have materials they need to succeed,” said Kip Holden, Baton Rouge Mayor.

The school supply drive assists parents and teachers in East Baton Rouge and Ascension Parishes who find their children and students without school supplies. “It’s a tradition now. We thank all these fine folks for coming out and volunteering their time,” said Tommy Martinez, Ascension Parish President.

Ascension Parish raised the most money with over $35,000 in donations and supplies.

“Thanks to all of our volunteers and to everyone who came out to support our Ascension Parish kids,” a spokesperson from Volunteer Ascension posted on its Facebook page.

The way the school supplies program works is during the first week of school, each teacher in grades kindergarten through eighth will check to see that every student has the supplies that he or she needs. Based on that assessment, teachers submit supply request forms to Volunteer Ascension. Each request is filled with the supplies that is collected through School Tools and Stuff the Bus.

“So basically each and every school supply, (and every dollar collected and used to purchase supplies), goes directly into the hands of an Ascension Parish child in need,” a Volunteer Ascension spokesperson posted on the Facebook page. “For everyone that participated in School Tools or Stuff the Bus, rest assured, you are making a difference in the life of an Ascension Parish child in need.”

Due to the great need in Ascension Parish, the supplies are only able to service grades K-8 students at this time.

“However, when we receive an abundance of certain items, we do send those items to our high schools. We are always working hard to raise more funds to help more kids.”