Wake County parents struggling with new school year, basic supplies

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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — With the first week of virtual learning behind them, some parents still struggling to adjust and with basic supplies.

Volunteers at Helping Hand Mission worked on handing out 500 backpacks to children on Friday. They hoped the backpacks filled with supplies would not only help students with their classwork but help give parents some ease of mind.

The packs are filled with paper, notebooks, folders and other supplies schools would typically supply.

Kiyana Smith stopped by to pick one up. She lost her job during the pandemic.

“I couldn’t afford [school supplies] this year because of COVID,” she said.

Her daughter is starting Pre-K. Her first year of school confusing as it’s happening online.

“They want to do about four or four hours [of school] but there is no way. She’s only four. She can’t just sit down in one spot for four or five hours,” Smith said.

Smith said she has to sit with her daughter the entire time. It makes finding employment during a pandemic much more difficult.

Helping Hand executive director Silvia Wiggins knows its been a hard week. She’s heard many stories from parents stopping by for their backpack.

“Every thing was up in the air, they didn’t know when [they would start]. Some of them got their laptops and weren’t able to put the password in,” Wiggins said.

The most important thing or her, is ensuring students succeed through this all.

“This is one major thing they won’t have to worry about,” Wiggins said.

Free backpack giveaways will continue to happen until supplies run out. They can be picked up at 623 Rock Quarry Road in Raleigh weekdays until 9 p.m.

If people want to help, Wiggins said donations are still being accepted.

The biggest needs are supplies for middle school students. They are in need of calendars and planners as many of them alternate between on campus and virtual learning, Wiggins said.

The planners can help middle school students keep track of the schedules and assignments. Most, of all she said they will help parents who are now having to take a bigger role in the learning process.

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