WELLSBURG — Brooke County school officials hope to fill one of the district’s school buses, but not with students.
They are accepting donations of school supplies and personal hygiene items to help local students of all ages get off to a good start in the new school year.
Today is the last day people can bring such items to the school bus parked outside the school board office at 1201 Pleasant Avenue, but donations will be accepted at the office until August 9, when they will be distributed at the school district’s Back to School Party.
All young people in Brooke County schools, from preschoolers to high school students, are welcome to attend and receive items.
About 2,334 students had enrolled in the school district as of June 30.
Stephanie Duffy-Zimmer, director of communications for the school district, said it will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Brooke High School, although students with sensory issues are asked to stop between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. avoid crowds and bustling activity normally. found at the event.
Duffy-Zimmer said the bus will be driven to the high school so supplies inside can be unloaded and sorted for distribution at the party, where lists of supplies needed for each class will be available.
Plans also call for a bouncy house and other inflatable attractions to be set up outside the school, where local emergency services have been asked to display their vehicles.
Now in its eighth year, the event is expected to include music provided by a disc jockey, three balloon artists, and free pizza, snow cones and other refreshments.
Duffy-Zimmer said nearby Brooke Middle School will be open for self-guided tours by its students, and the party will be followed by Meet the Teams Night, when fall sports athletes are introduced to the public.
Many school district athletes, drawn from sports played in different seasons, were on hand this week to help fill the bus with donations from various businesses, groups and individuals.
Amanda DiMarzio, a teacher coordinating the effort, said: “We have a lot of sports teams that help us. They unload the cars as they arrive and organize everything there (the bus), where it is quite warm.
Groups attending various days of the week included the high school dance team and cheerleaders, boys’ and girls’ football and basketball teams, softball and tennis teams; and the college volleyball team.
DiMarzio said the Brooke Bruins football team and marching band were absent because they were attending summer practices.