School days: Opportunities available to prepare students for 2022-23 year

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School buses will be on the move again this week and next as school starts back up for Hancock County.

Daily Reporter file photo

GREENFIELD – School starts soon in Hancock County, so now’s the time to grab the supplies and prepare for the new year.

Here’s a look at local opportunities to plan for the 2022-23 school year, from picking up free supplies to donating to local collection drives to figuring out how to pay for school meals.

N School supplies are among several freebies offered at the Hancock County Community Night today, Wednesday, July 27. The annual free event brings local organizations and public safety agencies together for demonstrations, food, giveaways and more. High school and junior high students will be offered folders, highlighters, paper binders, colored pencils, pencils, pens and backpacks. Elementary students will be offered folders, crayons, paper, markers, pencils, erasers and rulers in a sling bag.

The event is 5-8 p.m. at the Hancock County Fairgrounds; visit facebook.com/HancockCountyCommunityNight for updates.

N A Back to School Celebration will be at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, July 31 at Mt. Comfort Church. The worship service will include food, fun and fellowship, along with a backpack blessing and school supply giveaway. The church is located at 3179 N. 600W., Greenfield. For more, visit MtComfortChurch.com.

n Assistance is available to veteran families for back-to-school supplies and other school-related expenses.

The Indiana Department of Veterans Affairs announced the Family Relief Fund Operation Back to School program is now open for applicants. Indiana veteran families experiencing financial hardship may be eligible for up to $500 for each dependent for school-related items and needs.

Hoosier veteran families may apply for eligible dependents attending kindergarten to 12th grade (up to 18 years of age) and full-time college students (up to age 23) that live in the veteran’s home. Applicants must provide a DD-214, W-9, direct deposit form, proof of income, bank statement and proof of child’s residency. The program may only be used to provide services to veteran families experiencing financial hardship who reside in Indiana, have served in any branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, and hold a discharge form of a DD-214 or National Guard Bureau Form 22. Apply at in.gov/dva by clicking on “Military Family Relief Fund.”

n If you’re able to give back to the community, Local firefighters are collecting school supplies through Aug. 15.

Ryker’s Closet School Supply Drive is supported by Hancock County Firefighters Local 4787. School supplies may be dropped off at Greenfield Fire Station 421, 17 W. South St., Greenfield; Sugar Creek Township Fire Station 445, 3545 S. 600W., New Palestine; Buck Creek Township Fire Station 471, 5809 W. Airport Blvd., Greenfield; and Vernon Township Fire Station 431, 600 Vitality Drive, Fortville.

Checks may also be mailed to Hancock County Firefighters Local 4787, P.O. Box 1088, Greenfield, IN 46140. Put Ryker’s Closet in the memo line.

N Local families will be required once again to pay for school breakfast and lunch in the upcoming school year, or file an application to receive a free or a reduced meals.

Meals had been free for the last two school years. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, school corporations across the country had been operating with the use of a federal waiver that allowed them to feed every child for free.

The waiver is not available for the upcoming school year and corporations will return to the traditional eligibility requirements for free, reduced and paid meals. That means for 2022-23, schools will be charging students for both breakfast and lunch.

Applications for free and reduced meals can be found on school corporation websites.

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