While many children are eager for the start of the new school year, some are faced with not having the necessities needed to excel in the classroom.
On Saturday, the Copperas Cove Independent School District, in partnership with Walmart and Star Group-Veterans Helping Veterans, hosted the fourth annual Stuff the Bus event to help provide some of those school necessities.
In total, a record $33,000 in supplies was collected this year, according to Wendy Sledd, CCISD director of communications.
This year, the schools that will benefit from Stuff the Bus include Martin Walker Elementary School, Mae Stevens Early Learning Academy, J.L. Williams/Lovett Ledger Elementary, House Creek Elementary, Hettie Halstead Elementary, Fairview/Miss Jewell Elementary and Clements/Parsons Elementary.
Copperas Cove High, S.C. Lee Junior High and Crossroads High School will also benefit.
“This is a great event. So many kids go without (school supplies) and are afraid to ask, so this event will certainly help kids in need,” said Mayor Frank Seffrood
Joe Burns, superintendent of CCISD, said more than 60 percent of the families fall below the poverty line.
“I love that the community came out today to support each other especially for this great cause,” Burns said.
Earbuds, hand sanitizers, pens, pencils and writing pads were among highly requested items.
U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, visited Walmart on Saturday to help with Stuff the Bus.
Cruz brought a box filled with school supplies for the back-to-school drive.
Cruz, who is up for re-election in November, was on a tour of Central Texas, where he met with residents from communities and service members located at Fort Hood.
Before Cruz answered questions from the media and spoke with residents and volunteers, he had a private meeting with Burns.
Cruz touched on school safety, and said he supports more armed personnel in schools.
“I think the most important thing we can do to make our schools safer is to put more armed police officers on campuses,” Cruz said. “For those who are trained and capable, it makes perfect sense to allow them to be armed and to defend themselves and their students.”