Ozark Action is currently raising funds to be used toward the purchase of necessary school supplies for low-income children in Oregon County for the upcoming school year.
According to Paula Miller with Ozark Action, the Back to School Fair is a community event that promotes the health and well being of Oregon County residents.
"Our Back to School Fair is in its seventh year. It is a community exhibition of agencies that currently provide services for the citizens of our 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 services.
"The target group is low income families who are unable to address the basic needs due to lack of income," Miller said.
Oregon County has four school districts: Alton, Couch, Koshkonong and Thayer. Miller said 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 provide more school necessities and low income families often struggle or are unable to purchase these supplies," she said.
Miller 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, employment or safety, to only name a few," 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.
"We are currently accepting donations to purchase school supplies and donations of basic school supplies. Donations may be mailed to Ozark Action, Inc., P.O. Box 248 Alton, MO., 65606. "Anyone who has a child in kindergarten through the eighth grade at any of the four school districts in our county, please contact our office at Alton at 778-7470 or in Thayer at 264-2215 to see if you qualify for the free school supplies," Miller said.
Miller said the Back to School Fair date will be announced later this month.