Roving Reporter | "Backpacks and Blue Jeans" by Mary Taylor

"Backpacks and blue jeans is a program for school age children sponsored by First Baptist Church Rockport. Parents fill out applications in early summer for their school age children. Applications are available through school counselors, Good Samaritans and the church. The church will furnish backpacks full of the appropriate age level school supplies plus a Wal-Mart voucher for school approved pants or skirt and a shirt.

Workers in August fill the back packs with school supplies. For example, a girl in third grade or a boy will get appropriate school supplies. (Sometimes the girls are supposed to bring certain supplies, boys another.) In each backpack is a Bible or other Christian material.

Poverty level in Rockport Fulton schools is more than 50 percent so for many families the purchase of school supplies and clothes is a major financial burden.

On a designated day in August families are called to come to the church to pick up the backpacks and vouchers.

The program began four years ago when the need for it was seen. It has grown but the church because of the expense has a limit of the number that it can serve. The program is paid for through grants, individual donations and the church."

Images and Text by Mary Taylor

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