As the school year approaches, many parents are concerned about the cost of school supplies.

The United Way of Central Arkansas is holding a school supply drive in hopes of both better preparing young students for the year and alleviating the financial burden on parents and guardians.

Stuff the Bus, which begins this week, is held each year beginning in mid-July. 

Donation boxes in Faulkner County with lists of supplies needed are located at Kroger on Oak Street, Dollar General on Harkrider Street, the Vision Center in Walmart on Dave Ward Drive and the UWCA office on Museum Road.

“This is a very successful program for us. It’s one we’ve been doing a lot of years now,” Jennifer Bickers, resource development director for the UWCA, said. “It’s also an important one for us because we believe in the importance of education. Children have to be well prepared to get the most out of their education. A child who is ill-prepared will finish the year without ever really being fully prepared. This is a way we can make sure they have what they need while at school to make the most of it.”

Bickers said the supply drive generates “huge” amounts of supplies.

Donations will be collected Aug. 6, and distributed to participating schools.

The supplies are given out based on need determined by each school’s administrative staff, and will provide for students in need of the supplies not only when school begins, but through the remainder of the year.

For more information on this program or for a list of needed items, contact Emily Gassman at the UWCA office by phone at 327-5087, ext. 0 or by e-mail at staff@unitedwaycentralark.org.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)