KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Ready or not, school is just around the corner. Knox County Schools start Monday.
While many families make the final preparations for classes and homework, a few agencies are stepping in to help. Going back to school can be both exciting and expensive.
"School supplies, including clothes, cost me at least a couple hundred a year," says mom Anita Singh. "This probably would have cost me at least $60 bucks." But at the Water Angel "Fun in the Son" Block Party Saturday, Singh and her daughter Simi got it all for free.
"This is a great wallet saver, it really is. Glue, glue sticks, pencils, paper, just about everything she needs so I can just go through her list and just check everything off," says Singh.
"My school supplies was fun and I can't wait to go to Cedar Bluff, my new school," says second grader Simi. "I can't wait to go to second grade."
With events like the block party and Knoxville Area Urban League's "Shoes for School", low-income families can send kids to school with all the necessary supplies. Through donations from area churches and local sponsors, items from notebooks and markers to shoes and clothing are going home with students at no cost.
"To obtain tennis shoes and school supplies will help parents and the children get a head start on returning to school," says Jackie Robinson with KAUL.
Families say they're thankful for the assistance. In this economy, saving on buying for school, can go a long way.
"I have to get five kids ready to go back to school this year," says grandmother Pamela Davenport. "It is very expensive and this is a big help. It cuts down on a lot of the things that I have to get for the kids to go back to school."
KAUL says being prepared gives kids confidence to focus on learning, and parents, a break.
"I'm excited to go back to school," says first grader Chris Lackey.
For needy families who still need help with back to school, contact 2-1-1. They will be able to put you in touch with groups near you that can help.
If you are interested in donating directly to the Water Angel Ministries or Knoxville Area Urban League, click on the links below.