Volunteers and school staff search through supplies to give to waiting cars.ALTON - A backpack and school supplies drive-thru at Alton High School helped prepare students for the coming school year.

The Alton Community Unit School District 11 (ACUSD11) partnered with the Boys and Girls Club of Alton and Argosy Cares to provide school supplies to K-12 students in the district. All kids who were registered for school qualified for supplies. Volunteers and teachers began passing out supplies at 4 p.m. on Aug. 10 until they ran out.

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“It is an outstanding turnout, even better than we expected,” ACUSD11 Superintendent Dr. Kristie Baumgartner said. “We're very thankful to partner with the Boys and Girls Club to produce this event. As you can see by the turnout, being able to provide this many students with school supplies to start the school year off is a wonderful opportunity, and we are so thankful to our sponsors who make this possible.”

The Boys and Girls Club coordinated donations from Simmons Hanly Conroy, Colman’s Country Campers and Argosy Casino Alton as well as community members. Club volunteers bought the backpacks and school supplies with the kids in mind.

“We took it on to personally do the shopping for the bags, with the idea of trying to make sure the kids had colorful, fun, creative bags with characters that they will be happy and proud to carry to school with them,” Alton Boys and Girls Club Director Al Womack said.

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Members of Argosy Cares, an organization through Argosy Casino Alton, were there to help pass out backpacks. David Moffett, the casino’s compliance manager, noted the impressive work of the volunteers and school staff who were present.

“It’s very well organized,” Moffett said. “I think they’re going to try to give about 500 bags today.”

They quickly achieved this goal, highlighting the need for supplies as well as the commitment of the ACUSD11 community to come together and provide for their students.

“We just want kids to be excited about going to school, having the supplies that they need to go to school so that they can start learning on the first day,” Womack added.

Aug. 17 is the first day of school for ACUSD11 students. To stay up-to-date with the school district, visit their official website or Facebook page.

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