RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) To prepare South Dakota students for a successful school year, more than 120,000 school supplies were donated Aug. 23.
Although they no longer physically load the bus with supplies, this year brings the most donations ever for the annual Black Hills Federal Credit Union school supply drive.
"This year we're actually donating 36,000 pencils, that's I think the biggest we've ever done," said Heidi Bulman, Black Hills Federal Credit Union.
A principal who has been in the district for 14 years highlights the need for school supply assistance.
"We have a lot of kiddos, that this is a huge need, we have so many students. We probably have close to 500 students and I would say probably 90 percent of them come without school supplies," said Cary Davis, principal of General Beadle Elementary.
"You know, it's important for the schools because it not only helps the kids start on the right foot, but it helps the teachers know that they have supplies so that the kids that come to class are all prepared the same," Bulman said.
This bus driver has been a part of the "Load the Bus" drive for the last few years.
"Collecting supplies for particularly when families have a little more trouble supplying the money for it, and schools are under a tight budget, they're under a very tight budget so to collect the supplies for the schools and the families, I think it's just a wonderful idea," said Bob Weaver.
Weaver said everyone involved does this dofor the kids.
"I taught school for 39 years, back in Utah, and so I love kids. I love working with kids, I taught middle school back in Utah and I'm doing elementary now here but it's so nice to work with the kids," Weaver said.