EL PASO, TX (KTSM) – El Paso Community College’s Service Learning Program (EPCC) held its 7th annual Service Learning School Store event on Saturday where children across El Paso came to the campus to receive free school supplies, among other benefits provided by EPCC.

Organizers shared that the effort ensures that students are prepared with the supplies they need to start the school year. The children have a chance to earn play money to “shop” for their supplies by visiting informational booths and participating in campus tours.

Families were invited to come get their children school supplies for free at the EPCC Rio Grande campus.

Booths were setup where the children could fill their new backpacks with all the necessary supplies needed.

When they go upstairs and they visit different booths and they walk over to our store that’s where we have markers, colored pencils, erasers, then we have pencil boxes that are full of crayons, pencils, scissors, glue. Absolutely everything the students are usually walking out ready and prepared for the school year.

Shana Valles, Director of School Store, EPCC

It wasn’t all just school supplies, other tables were setup that exposed the children to what college could look like for them. Some had pamphlets that showed all that EPCC has to offer, some were information on the courses taught, and some were interactive.

The college is able to pay for all the supplies by a grant they receive which helps them better serve the borderland community, and those who need it most.

“We have a $25,000 grant from the Community Foundation where they were able to purchase supplies. All the supplies, backpacks, pencils, glue sticks, everything you can imagine for 1,200 students.”

Shana Valles

Valles says prices have gone up this year for school supplies because of inflation but they buy in bulk in order to get as many supplies as possible.

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