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School Supplies Can Break the Family Bank

Eastport’s Community Backpack Fest supplies 400 kids

         It takes good school supplies to get the school year off to a good start. To make sure that a few hundred kids have exactly what they need, Chesapeake neighbors have joined forces.

            In Eastport’s Community Backpack Fest Saturday, August 24, backpacks brimming with school supplies will be handed out.

            “John Wesley United Methodist Church, Mt. Zion United Methodist Church and Eastport United Methodist Church — known collectively as the Serving Together team — held a packing party along with our friends from the Eastport Volunteer Fire Department, the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and the Anne Arundel Chapter of the NAACP,” says volunteer Susan Schneider. “We successfully packed 400 backpacks in preparation for our event.”

            On the side lawn of Eastport United Methodist Church from 10am to noon on Saturday, kids can choose their backpack.

            The Serving Team gathered needed supplies and sorted them by student age. “Our youngest students — kindergarten through second grade — will choose their favorite backpack stuffed with a pencil sharpener, writing pad, glue, markers, eraser, pencils, scissors and folders,” Schneider says.

            Students entering grades three through middle school get larger backpacks filled with similar items plus a few extras like notebooks, highlighters and a pencil case.

            Every year, students and their families go back-to-school shopping, supply list in hand. The cost quickly adds up. Bay Weekly shopped for the items on the supply list used by the Serving Team. The price to fill each K to second grade backpack? $52.04. The price tag for third through seventh? $79.35.

            For high school students, Schneider recommends contacting Seeds4Success and Charting Careers for help with needed supplies.

            The Serving Team is also putting together Welcome Back to School bags for local teachers. Community partners such as Homes for America, the Severn Companies and the NAACP have adopted a local school and are helping prepare bags for teachers. To donate, drop supplies marked community backpack and teacher supplies at Eastport United Methodist Church, 926 Bay Ridge Ave., Eastport.

            Supplies are still being accepted, and volunteers are needed to hand out the backpacks: [email protected].

Items Needed


Dual-blade sharpeners

10.5" x 8" manuscript writing pads

4 oz. washable school glue

Pack of premium crayons, 24pk

Pack of broad line washable markers, 8pk

Pink beveled erasers

Pack of #2 HB pencils, 12pk

Pair of 5" blunt-tip scissors (ambidextrous)

One-subject spiral notebooks — 70 pages each

Black & white composition books

2-pocket organizer folders

Zip-top canvas pencil cases

12-inch ruler with metric centimeters

Set of 5 ballpoint ink pens — 2 black, 2 blue, 1 red

Set of 5 colored pencils — red, orange, yellow, green and blue

Pencil sharpener with dome lid to collect shavings

Easy twist-up glue sticks — washable