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Aug 092011

On Wednesday, the rest of EVSC students will be hitting the books again.
Meanwhile, parents could be taking a hit in the wallet to get them back-to-school ready.
Local 7 is on your side with how much they can expect to shell out…
And where they can find help to cut down on the expense.
National statistics show that in 2010, the average family spent more than 600 dollars on clothing, books, and supplies for school.
This year, Evansville families struggling against that expense can take heart…as community organizations step in to help.
Back to school can mean shelling out big bucks to get students the supplies they need.
But on Saturday, hundreds of Evansville parents tried to bypass that step, showing up at the Unity fest back to school drive as early as four in the morning.
Evansville Christian Life Center was a partner in the event.
Director Gina Gibson says last year's drive provided for more than 700 children.
This year, the center has anticipated a greater need, preparing to serve 1,700 with clothes and supplies.
"We just saw a lot of them that were going to uniforms, they're just not prepared. And so they came in to get those uniforms."
At a much smaller cost.
"Instead of going and spending 12 to 15 dollars an item for clothing, they were able to get two brand new outfits for 4 dollars."
Those families are getting help all over the community…from a drive at
Cedar Hall that drew in 263 students for supplies and haircuts…to the Red Cross, where volunteers stuffed 800 backpacks with back to school essentials.
EVSC officials say textbook rates haven't jumped, though high school as well as middle school parents will need to chip in another 70 dollars for a netbook rental.
But EVSC's Marsha Jackson says the newer technology could save parents from buying something else.
"Especially at the middle school and high school level, I think parents could see a reduced cost in paper products and pencils and things like that."
She says so far, those community drives have greatly helped outfit struggling families with what their students need to start the year.
The Evansville Christian Life Center has handed over about 300 uniform-style clothing items directly to the school corporation, so those still needing the right attire the first week of school will not go without.