Schools and groups work to cut down supply costs

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Back to school can come with a hefty price tag for parents, but the Austintown school district and several community groups are working on ways to cut costs this year.

Parents in the Austintown school district have had their supply lists for months. And for parents like Tina Tolley, a trip to the store for those supplies can be costly.

“It is anywhere from $75 to $100 a year,” Tolley said.

In effort to cut down those costs, sixth through seventh grade students will have the option of using Google Chromebooks. Superintendent Vince Colaluca said the devices will cut down on supplies.

“They won’t need as many things because we are going to be putting a lot of curriculum online,” Colaluca said.

Parents will pay a $50 insurance fee for the device and the normal $20 instruction fee will be waived. The fee must be paid to take the device home.

While Austintown is working with Chromebooks, community groups are working together to help parents with back to school supplies. Several giveaways have already taken place in the Valley and Wednesday the Youngstown Kiwanis teamed up Neighborhood Ministries to provide free school supplies in Campbell.

Heather Wilson has three children in school and appreciates every bit of help she can get. She works four jobs to provide for her family and expects to spend about $200 per child to get ready for school this year with a total price tag of about $600.

“That’s my rent. This has really helped a lot,” Wilson said.

Kiwanis member Tom Eisenbaraun said helping the students prepare for school is a joy.

“One of the biggest rewards you get in life is helping other people. That is what we do. Kiwanis is an organization that helps children.” Eisenbaraun said.

Dental screenings were also available to the students free of charge.

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