200 backpacks handed out to Fort Bragg families ahead of start of school year

Cumberland County News

FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WNCN) — Just like Cumberland County schools, Fort Bragg students will start off the school year with remote learning.

“You kind of have to get used to things not going your way or sudden changes,” mother Emily Bair said.

To help military families start the school year, 200 backpacks were given out to the families during a drive-by distribution at Fort Bragg Monday.  

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Fort Bragg’s nine schools will be operating under code “Charlie” for now, which means school facilities are closed to students.

“We’re hoping that it all works out at home, but with four kiddos at home and trying to do one pre-k, one kindergarten at home, it’s going to be rough, but hopefully with a solid schedule we will be able to do it,” Bair said.

Once schools transition to code Bravo and then Alpha, students who choose to will go back to classrooms full-time. When that happens, there will be precautions in place such as wearing face masks and social distancing.

“Hopefully, sooner than later they can get them in school with the proper cleaning and safety precautions,” Bair said. “I think they would learn best in school with the teachers, but whatever is safest at this point.”

Fort Bragg’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation partnered with the Gary Sinise Foundation and others to hand out backpacks and lunches — doing what they can to lighten the load for military families.

“Military families adapt pretty well, but each family has their own individual stressors so it’s hard to say how across the board it’s affecting all of them,” the group’s marketing manager Heather Ybarra said. “We are just here trying to do the best we can to support them and help them get ready for the school year.”

Bair said the situation is constantly evolving.

“It’s hard but you just have to stick to a schedule, you have to really count your blessings and just know it could be worse, but you just have to kind of roll with the punches, as usual,” Bair said.

If students don’t have a laptop or computer at home they can request to check out one from their local school.

Schools start back August 24.

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