OREGON COUNTY -- Ozark Action Inc. is currently raising funds to be used toward the purchase of necessary school supplies for low-income children in Oregon County for the 2004-05 school year.
According to Paula Miller, of the community services department at OAI, this year's theme will be "Healthy Bodies for Healthy Mind."
Miller said this is a community event that promotes the health and well being of Oregon County residents. The back-to- school fair, an annual event currently in its fifth year, is a community exhibition of agencies that currently provide services to citizens of Oregon County. This event is held each year to provide basic needs for educational support including but not limited to health screenings, school supplies and supportive service.
The target group is low-income families who are unable to address the basic needs due to lack of income.
Oregon County has four school districts Alton, Thayer, Koshkonong and Couch.
Each year, children registered in these four school districts are required to provide a portion of their educational tools.
Due to cuts in state funding, schools are now requesting families to provide more of the school necessities. Miller said low-income families often struggle or are unable to purchase these supplies. She said children who do not have the required school supplies often suffer from embarrassment and low self esteem. "We assist these families with their financial burden by handing out the necessary school supplies free of charge. At the same time, we provide all members of the family with information that might address any barriers they could have to education such as employment " she said.
Miller said with community support through volunteerism and financial assistance, this project helps build strong, healthy, educated, productive citizens of tomorrow while helping poverty stricken families in their struggle to be self sufficient.
Miller said OAI is currently accepting donations of funds to purchase school supplies as well as donations of basic school supplies.
She said donations and checks can be sent to to to Ozark Action, Inc., P.O. Box 248, Alton, MO. 65606 or call Miller at 417-778-7470 for more information. She said OIC is currently registering children for the back-to-school fair. She said although it is not mandatory, OAI prefers that the children are registered. Registration may be done by calling Miller at 417-778-7470.