Parents and their children who attend Lee County Elementary School in rural eastern Kentucky were up long before sunrise on Friday, August 2, to take part in the school’s annual “Readifest” event, a tradition there for 26 years to ensure students are ready for the first day of school.

“This year we had 52 agencies participating in the event and it was our biggest event to date,” reported Sherry Lanham, director of our partner organization, the Lee County Family Resource Center.

“Parents and children were in line by 3 a.m. and doors didn’t open until 8:30 a.m.,” said Sherry

“Once again, Americans Helping Americans® provided school supplies.”

Every one of the more than 400 children who registered for Readifest are living in what The New York Times has described as one of the “hardest” places to live in the country, and thanks to the supporters of Americans Helping Americans they will have everything they need today, Wednesday, August 7, when they arrive for class on the first day of a new school year.

But these children are the fortunate ones.

Throughout Appalachia a new school year will be beginning for thousands more in the coming weeks and many of their parents are worrying about how they will pay for the supplies they know their children need.

$11 is all it costs to ensure that an elementary school student has everything they need to be prepared from day 1 of the first day of school, and eliminate the shame and embarrassment they would feel (through no fault of their own) when their teacher inevitable tells them to take out a pencil and a piece of paper, and they have neither.

Your gift of $110, $55, $222, or even just $11 will provide 10, 5, 2 or one child with the “tools for school” they need to get off to a successful school year.