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Leon County parents "Pack the Patrol" in preparation of new school year

Posted at 8:05 AM, Aug 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-03 08:05:18-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.(WTXL) — Students in Leon County return to class in just over four weeks.

Although COVID-19 is still spreading in the Capital City some parents have no other choice than to send their kids back to classroom.

That's why the community is taking steps to help parents prepare for the upcoming school year.

"We were here at 9:30 and by 10:15, we had already filled two boxes," said Tallahassee Police Department Deputy Chief, Tonja Smith.

Tallahassee Police Department's Pack the Patrol is nothing new for the community.

Every year people are asked to donate school supplies but this year, the need is slightly different.

"We know everybody can't do virtual so the kids that have to go back to school, we're going to make sure we have those supplies," said Smith.

While some students are continuing their education at home others will have in-person lessons.

"It's a terrible place for a parent to be in to have to choose between the health and safety of their child and a job," said Matthew DeMarco.

About 70% of the students in Leon County will return to the classrooms, many parents saying they have to continue to work.

Now community members are preparing those students to head back into the classroom as best they can starting with school supplies.

"In many instances, parents can't afford it," said Marvin Henderson, 100 Black Men of Tallahassee President.

100 Black Men of Tallahassee is a partner with Pack the Patrol.

The group says its role in the community is to mentor and uplift the youth including making sure they can make the grade.

"Obviously, with COVID-19 and other issues going on in our country and our community, this is the least that we could do," said Henderson.

Tallahassee Police Department says the donations will be sanitized by the Fire Department before given out.