Back to school shopping begins for Cape Fear families as schools release supply lists


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Schools across the Cape Fear have released their back-to-school supply lists, with some year-round schools already back in session, and others preparing for the new school year to kick off next month.

Some supply lists are looking a bit different this year, accommodating inflation and changes brought by the pandemic.

Penderlea School in Pender County is a year-round school that had its first day back on Monday. The school welcomed students back by having a majority of their necessary school supplies like, notebooks, pencils and paper purchased through the schools’ budget. It was an effort to ease the financial burden on parents.

“I have two children of my own that attend school here, and it has been a huge weight off to see the smaller supply lists, and not have to purchase as much this year, because other things are so expensive right now,” said Jennie Treto, Penderlea School ESL teacher.

Jennie Treto is a parent and an ESL teacher at Penderlea School, and says supplies in highest demand this year are headphones for chrome books, tissue, and cleaning products.

“I think it’s definitely shifted with COVID, obviously we needed a lot more cleaning and sanitizing materials in the rooms. So that’s changed a little bit, and then the move towards technology has kind of reduced the need for some of those traditional school supplies, like paper and pencils, we are needing some things to help with technology,” said Treto.

Communities in Schools of the Cape Fear is a nonprofit also hoping to ease the burden for students in need of supplies in New Hanover and Pender Counties, and is now accepting donations at multiple locations in both counties with its “Stuff the Bus” campaign officially underway.

“We’ve tweaked the list every year, depending on what students and teachers both need and they always need something. This year, we’ve never needed it so much, between the remnants of the pandemic, inflation, –the cost of everything going up. Our goal is always to serve as many kids as possible, but this year really counts,” said Kendall McGee, Communities in Schools Communications Manager.

Residents in the Brunswick County community, Compass Pointe, are also pitching in to help cut costs for students as they get ready to head back to school. They plan to hold the neighborhoods 4th annual Backpack Bash on July 24. Their goal is to collect 1,000 backpacks and 9,000 packages of school supplies for communities in schools Brunswick County.

“We have 10 porch drop-offs within the community in different sections, and these homes open up their porches to backpacks, and people just drop off backpacks prior to the bash and after the bash,” said Judy Hogan, Compass Pointe Backpack Bash organizer.

“Judy and I have just been so awed at the generosity of this community, and wanting to help the kids. We think it’s pretty impressive, and we’re so proud of Compass Pointe.” Kathy McEvoy, Compass Pointe Backpack Bash organizer.



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