Shop local first during tax free holiday

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Preparing to go back to school can be expensive as you make sure your children have the necessary supplies.

However, this weekend offers a slight reprieve since South Carolina’s annual Sales Tax Holiday will be observed August 4-6. This is the one time a year when school supplies such as paper and pencils, as well as computers, book bags, clothes, shoes and other approved items can be purchased tax free.

Check with your child’s school for a supply list. To learn more about South Carolina’s sales tax holiday, including a list of tax-exempt items, visit the Department of Revenue’s website at https://dor.sc.gov.

While tax-free shopping can be done statewide, we encourage you to shop local first. Please support our local businesses – big and small – for your back-to-school needs. This will help them thrive and grow.

As you are shopping for your family’s needs, we encourage you to buy a few extra supplies for those who are less fortunate. After all, you are already saving money by not having to pay taxes.

Even if you can’t afford much, every pencil, pack of paper and notebook will help a local child start the new school year on the right foot.

The Barnwell County United Way’s annual Stuff the Bus school supply drive is a perfect way to donate. To make it more convenient for people, the BCUW is expanding Stuff the Bus to two weekends: August 11-12 and 18-19 in front of Walmart in Barnwell. They will accept supplies and monetary donations, all of which will be distributed evenly between Barnwell County’s three public school districts.

Go ahead and buy supplies during the tax-free weekend so you can save money.

We understand that not all parents are able to afford the necessary supplies their children’s needs. That’s why several area churches, schools, businesses, towns and organizations step up every year to offer backpacks, school supplies, information, food and a little fun before returning to class. It’s all done free of charge.

Turn to the Community Calendar (page 5B) for a complete list of events we have been made aware of.

If you know of more back-to-school events, please contact us by emailing jonathan.vickery@morris.com or (803) 259-3501. Announcements can also be faxed to (803) 259-2703.

Now is a good time to check with your child’s school to see what other preparations need to be made in advance of the first day of school. Several schools are holding registration events in the coming weeks. Details can also be found on page 5B.

Some of those preparations include vaccinations and physicals for participation in sports.

We also encourage parents to start getting their children in a back-to-school routine. This includes going to bed earlier so they can adjust to school schedules after the summer break.

School is only two weeks away – August 17 – so there is not much time left.

This is also a great time to talk with your children about your expectations for the school year. It never hurts to have goals so your child can work hard to succeed academically.

Please stay involved in your child’s academics throughout the year. It’s been proven that students perform better when their parents are involved in their academics. We encourage parents to attend school events, stay current with academic progress, maintain contact with teachers, and just show you care.

This is a recipe for academic success.

Included in this week’s edition of The People-Sentinel is the 2017-2018 Barnwell County School Calendar. It contains important dates listed for all three public school districts as well as Jefferson Davis Academy.

We wish everyone a successful school year full of academic gains.