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Back to school needs may surprise you

by Becca Schimmel rschimmel@paducahsun.com

Parents are gearing up to send their students back to school but, for some, the cost can be a challenge.

Traditional school supplies alone can cost $60 for each child.

That does not include clothes, shoes, physicals, sports equipment and any technology that high school children might need.

"It's an unexpected cost that maybe they weren't planning for," said Marianna Romero, coordinator at Friends Family Resource Center at Farley Elementary.

People can help by making a donation at any local family resource center.

Currently Friends Family Resource Center, located at 1250 Husbands Road in Paducah, is accepting new and gently worn children's clothing to help families offset the cost.

Another back to school need might come as a surprise to most.  According to Laura Roberts, the director of Starfish Orphan Ministry, there are a lot of children in Paducah who don't have a mattress or a bed to sleep on; many are sleeping on the floor.

"At the beginning of each school year, we find out lots of children are sleeping on the floor," Roberts said.

A student's performance in school can suffer from not getting an adequate night's sleep, she said.

So, right now, Starfish Orphan Ministry in Paducah is trying to stock up on mattresses and beds.

Starfish is also hosting a Tools for School supply drive until Tuesday. Donations may include backpacks, pencils, paper, crayons, colored pencils and safety scissors.  All donations are tax deductible.

"We always try to make sure the parents understand it is important that their kids are not sleeping on the floor and that they have all the right things in their backpack," Roberts said.

Drop off donations at Starfish Orphan Ministry at 1000 Broadway or contact 270-519-7340 for more information.

Contact Becca Schimmel, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8652.

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