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Help teachers and students

This week, Suffolk Public Schools teachers will come back to work ready for a new school year.

Administrators have been working all summer scheduling and preparing. Many school buildings have received long-overdue maintenance work. Teachers worked professional development, lesson planning and other tasks into their summer plans and are returning to work prior to classes beginning for many long, hot days of more arduous preparations.

In short, the schools are ready for the students. But are students ready for school?

Unfortunately, many students’ families are unable to afford the supplies they will need to come to class ready to learn. Notebooks, folders, pencils, backpacks, lunchboxes and more add up quickly, especially as students get into higher grades and need more expensive items like planners, combination locks for lockers, physical education uniforms, electronics such as jump drives and calculators, and more. Musical instruments, athletic equipment and more stress parents’ budgets even more as they try to nurture their children’s talents to provide a well-rounded education.

Several school supply giveaways have come and gone this summer, and we applaud the many who volunteered and donated to support their community through these events. But some families may still find themselves stressed to provide everything their child needs.

And we all know that teachers spend enough of their personal money providing items and supplies for their classrooms and students. The one thing they don’t need any more of is stress.

That’s where the community comes in. You can help by purchasing school supplies, printer paper, hand sanitizer, sanitizing wipes, tissues and other items and delivering them to your local school — or giving them to a teacher you know — to support the education of our children and let our teachers know the entire community, even those of us who don’t have children, is behind them.

We wish our educators a successful period of preparing for a new school year.