Does less school supplies mean less education?

- Back-to-school is right around the corner but what about the families that cannot afford school supply lists?

Officer Michelle Archer of the Matthews Police Department believes no student should go without.

"Not having what everyone else has and having to receive you know or have to sit out because they don't have… it weighs on them,” Archer said. 

Archer works as a school resource officer at Butler High School and has made it her mission to provide those students who cannot afford school supplies with the tools to start the year off on the right foot.

"Not only am I a law enforcement officer but I'm also an educator, so I want to provide our kids the necessary tools to help them be prepared for school," Archer explained. 

FOX 46 Charlotte compared school supply lists from two CMS school in neighborhoods with varying income levels.

We measured the schools by average household income and percentage of students receiving free or discounted lunches. Families at Providence Spring Elementary School have an average household income of $128,121 and 4.2 percent of students receive free or discounted lunch. Their fifth grade school supplies list totaled $102.

Families at Hidden Valley Elementary School have an average household income of $56,054 and 91 percent of students receive free or discounted lunches. Those fifth graders are still asked to shell out $79. 

Archer told FOX 46 Charlotte cost should not be a factor and the different lists don’t reflect a difference in education.

"It means that there is a different way that teacher is setting up the classroom but the education,” Archer said. “The end result is they get the same education no matter what the school supply list says."

Archer and the Matthews Police Department hope to fill 200 backpacks with school supplies for families who are struggling to send their children back to school. They have bins stationed in the police station, library, town hall, and throughout the town of Matthews and are collecting donations through Monday, August 15.

They will be distributing backpacks at Matthews Gives Back cookout on August 18. The cookout is a free event. If you or someone you know needs a little help this school year, you can register for a filled backpack on the Town of Matthews website.   

"It's kinda like Christmas before school." 

For more information, click here!

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