ROANOKE, Virginia – The Back to School Extravaganza in Roanoke City returned this year and doubled the number of families compared to last year.
On Saturday morning, hundreds of volunteers distributed 3,300 bags of school supplies to families at Patrick Henry High School.
The lines of traffic were so long that the entrance was closed an hour earlier.
Roanoke City Public Schools Superintendent Verletta White said she understands many families are still struggling financially after the coronavirus pandemic and just need more support.
“Our families are getting what they need so that their children can start school here in a great way,” she said. “When we say we are one, that’s exactly what we mean.”
For the first time, Fleet Feet brought 5,000 pairs of shoes for students of all ages to the event.
While only 1,500 pairs of shoes were distributed on Saturday due to a time limit, volunteers will still visit each school once the school begins measuring students’ feet and distributing the rest of the shoes.
During the event, each child stepped on a 3D foot scanner to make sure each pair of shoes fit perfectly.
“So that was really important to us. We didn’t just want to give out kids’ shoes,” said Robin Lewis, co-owner of Fleet Feet. “It’s really important for us to fit the shoes. people are not wearing the right size and especially children, they are growing up and you don’t know what size they are wearing.
Lewis said there are 8,000 students in total who are in need and they need $ 110,000 within 30 days to help buy more shoes.
If families were unable to go out on Saturday, they can contact their child’s school counselor or principal to get shoe vouchers and supplies.
Additional school supplies will be sent to each school for families to claim.
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