Summer can always promise two things in Pontotoc County: Hot weather and, for the past 22 years, Back to School Basics in August. The Ada Sunrise Rotary Club, in partnership with the Salvation Army, has been ensuring the first day of school is a level playing field for everyone in grades K-12.

To make the playing field more even, this program provides a backpack and basic school supplies for children whose families cannot financially purchase those supplies. In the first year the program was in action, Back to School Basics committee gave out 200 backpacks and essential supplies as compared to last year's total of 1,000 packs and supply sets, according to Rotary Club member and spearhead of the program Suzanne McFarlane.

In previous years, the “enrollment was at the high school, and we had a room there and handed out the supplies. This year, the enrollment is going to be in each of the individual schools for four days. That is why we are going to do the distribution at the Salvation Army,” said McFarlane.

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