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Kitz for Kids a big help to schools and students 0

By Robert Massey, High River Times

The Kitz are coming and the community should be thrilled.

Kitz 4 Kids has kicked off its sixth annual campaign with Value Drug Mart and will run for the whole month of August.

The Kitz 4 Kids program is designed to supply local students, who do not have the ability to purchase school supplies, with the basic necessities to properly kick off the school year.

"It helps some of the local kids start out the school year," says Strathmore Value Drug Mart owner and pharmacist, Gordon Morck.

Community residents are asked to donate school supplies or give monetary donations to their Value Drug Mart.

Residents can also choose to donate from two different kitz that are available in stores.

Each kit has a different assortment of preselected items and only costs $5.

Value Drug Mart will accept any new school supplies, but they are really looking out for markers, crayons, paper, duotangs, pencils, erasers, rulers, and notebooks.

And best of all, it all stays within the community.

"We have it at all (Grade) levels," said Morck.

Denise Peterson was the principal at Storefront School when the program began and thinks that it is amazing.

"The difference it makes to kids is amazing," she said. "It reduces anxiety, parents love it. It's awesome, it really is, and it really takes pressure off of

the teachers too."

Peterson figures that it helps students acclimatize to school better because they feel more normal and they don't have to worry about not having the basic necessities for going to school.

"It helps them to fit in better," she said.

There are some school boards that are able to provide their elementary school students with supplies, but not so here, Peterson said.

"Having the community help is just great."

In the last five years that the program has been running it has managed to put school supplies in the hands of over 15,000 students and it has sold over 18,000 kits and seen cash donations and individual supplies that, all three combined, total over $100,000.

All donations are given discreetly to those who require them to ensure the families and students privacy.

Parents who cannot provide the required school supplies for their children should contact their child's teacher or

principal.

Both Morck and Peterson are huge fans of the program and they know how much of a difference it can make to the lives of students.

Morck gets to see first hand the donations that come in for Strathmore, and hopes for a great turn out.

"We have a lot of support in the community. I hope it goes well, and we raise a lot of money."

And while Morck gets to watch the donations come in Peterson has seen where they go and she's blown away with what it does.

"It seems like a small thing, but it helps so much. It's wonderful."


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