Annual “load the bus celebration” kicks off in Roanoke

Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 10:17 PM EDT
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ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - The sounds of the William Byrd High School Drumline and William Fleming and Patrick Henry High School cheerleaders could be heard outside the Bonsack Walmart Friday afternoon. They were welcoming in the kickoff for the annual “load the bus celebration” on the weekend of the Virginia Sales Tax Holiday.

Load the bus focuses on making sure all students have the school supplies they need going into the new school year. Roanoke City, Roanoke County, Craig County and Salem City school systems are all partnering for this year’s event.

“This galvanizes the community, making sure that as one community we’re coming together to support all of our learners,” said Verletta White, superintendent of Roanoke City Public Schools.

With inflation driving up prices of many items, this year’s event will go a long way in helping school families feeling the impacts.

“Anything that anybody can give, whether it’s just one box of crayons, one box of markers or some glue sticks, it really goes a long way of helping out families, who especially this time of year are feeling the extra pinch from the economy,” said Dr. Ken Nicely, superintendent of Roanoke County Public Schools.

Load the Bus will be going on at the Clearbrook, Salem, Valley View and Bonsack Walmarts from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. Residents can buy the supplies and donate them on site, or give money that will be used to purchase the supplies for the students.

All supplies and money raised will be distributed across all the school systems for students in need.

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