Tribune staff reports

Registration for a program that provides school supplies to more than 750 Jackson County children each year has begun.

The goal of Rock’n Ready is to ensure 100 percent of the schoolchildren in the county arrive prepared on the first day of school.

“As a volunteer for several years for the Rock’n Ready program, I have personally seen the excitement and satisfaction of the many children who have received a backpack filled with school supplies,” Rock’n Ready co-chairwoman Myra Mellencamp said. “As citizens making a contribution to this program, we can all help ensure that every child will be ready to return to school in August. Without this program, unfortunately, many children would not have the supplies they need to be successful students.”

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Rock’n Ready is a collaboration of organizations whose goal is to ensure an increased number of children from low-income families throughout Jackson County will have basic school supplies.

Jackson County families may register their children, from kindergarten to 12th grade, for the free basic supplies by calling United Way 211 Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If calling from a cellphone, call 812-376-6666.

The last day to register is July 14.

Prior to the event, the household will receive a postcard with information about their time for pickup at the July 29 event. They must present the card during pickup.

The supplies distributed will include backpacks and limited basic school supplies for the 2017-18 school year.

“I love that we have this program in Jackson County,” co-chairwoman Julia Aker said. “In my 30 years at the library, this is the best collaborative project that I’ve seen involving the Seymour schools. Giving kids the power to choose their supplies and a chance to be ready on the first day of school through a community effort is inspiring.”

For information on how you can be a part of the Rock’n Ready initiative, contact the Jackson County United Way at 812-522-5450 or bonita@jacsy.org.

Dylan Purlee, the former principal at Seymour-Redding Elementary School, founded the Rock’n Ready school supply collection and distribution event with Jackson County United Way in 2013 to provide children from low-income families with free school supplies.

At a glance

Parents or guardians may register the children by calling 211 or 812-376-6666 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For information on how you can be a part of the Rock’n Ready initiative, contact Bonita Dobbs at Jackson County United Way at 812-522-5450 or bonita@jacsy.org.