Our Opinion: Three days left to support governor's school supply drive

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The back-to-school countdown has begun.

Two weeks from Monday, the annual rite of passage will commence: students will board buses, pile into minivans and clamber into cars as school bells ring and fall classes begin throughout Wilson County.

Another countdown is ticking away — there are just three days left to contribute to the second annual Governor’s School Supply Drive. The classroom collection wraps up this Thursday.

Every State Employees’ Credit Union branch, including Wilson’s locations at 3004 N.C. 42 West, 3990 Ward Blvd. and 4501 Nash St. N., and state government buildings in Raleigh are accepting school supply donations, along with The Wilson Times office at 126 Nash St. in historic downtown Wilson.

Among other donations, we received a contribution of notebooks, copier paper and sanitizing wipes from Rhyan Breen, a candidate for Wilson County Board of Education, on Aug. 6. Breen, Stephanie Cyrus and Wayne Willingham are in the running for the District 7 seat being vacated by incumbent Robin Flinn, who is not seeking re-election.

There’s still time to drop a box of tissues or package of copier paper in the bin to support Wilson County classrooms. As you round up your children’s school supplies this week, please consider pitching in, whether you donate here at the Times, at SECU or at any participating drop-off site. It’s all going to the same place.

Gov. Roy Cooper started the school supply drive in 2017 to equip public school classrooms with some basic and oft-requested teaching tools, noting that the average teacher spends about $500 out of pocket on class supplies each year.

“Teachers shouldn’t have to dip into their own pockets to cover the cost of classroom supplies that their students need to learn,” Cooper said in a statement.

The collection seeks eight specific items —all types of copier and notebook paper, pens and pencils, USB flash drives, dry-erase markers, spiral notebooks, sanitizing wipes and boxes of tissues.

While similar campaigns collect school supplies for underprivileged children who may otherwise show up to class unprepared, this one benefits teachers and, by extension, the students they serve. Both types of donation drives are worthy efforts deserving of community-wide support.

“When you’re shopping for your family’s school supplies, consider purchasing an additional item from our supply list and donating it at a drop-off location,” the governor added.

Everything we collect at the Times will stay in Wilson County to stock local classrooms. No contribution is too small — a single spiral-bound notebook, a canister of Clorox wipes or a lone package of dry-erase markers will be greatly appreciated and put to good use.

We wish all Wilson County students, parents, teachers and school staffers a successful and rewarding 2018-19 school term.

Correction: Sanderson Farms chronology

An editorial published in Saturday’s edition of the Times exploring Wilson County’s unemployment woes incorrectly stated that Sanderson Farms switched its chicken processing plant from a Nash County site near the Wilson County line to Kinston following legal wrangling.

The Sanderson Farms plant in Kinston was scheduled before the proposed Nash County site. Following two years of court battles after the city of Wilson sued Nash County in an effort to prevent the project, Sanderson Farms announced plans to build a poultry processing plant in Palestine, Texas, in February 2013.

In March 2015, Sanderson Farms announced a new poultry plant in Robeson County, North Carolina.

While the editorial sought to point out that Wilson expended great effort to deprive the region of blue-collar jobs, the claim that Sanderson took its Nash County plans to Kinston was inaccurate. The Times regrets the error.