By Selwyn Harris
As area students prepare for classes to resume later this month, an annual event will kick off this weekend to their benefit.
Valley Electric Association VEA is gearing up for its annual “Fill the Bucket” campaign in front of Smith’s on Highway 160.
The bucket truck is normally used to hoist VEA line crews aloft to repair and perform maintenance to overhead power lines.
Beginning Saturday morning, it will be used to hold various school supplies purchased by shoppers at the grocery chain.
This is the fifth year in a row the VEA bucket truck will be parked outside the store for shoppers to drop off much needed school supplies for students.
Also for the fifth straight year, Karen Jackson from KNYE 95.1 FM will be broadcasting live during the event.
“Anything in the community to help the kids. When Valley Electric started this they had contacted and asked me if I would talk about it on air. I told them that I’ll do more than talk about it, I will come and do a live remote with you. It’s their gig, I just aligned with them because I know the radio can help them,” she said.
Over the years, VEA has collected tens of thousands of school-related items for valley students.
Jackson said the need now is greater than ever before.
“We are looking for everything. Anything the kids need to go back to school. The stores make it easy because they have it all laid out. You can just go down the school supply aisle and pick up stuff. Binders, paper, pencils, crayons, and backpacks.
Jackson also noted that last year’s event went better than expected.
“I think we did 18 buckets,” she said.
Jackson went on to say that supplies may be dropped off at the VEA office on Highway 372.
VEA officials will sort and eventually disburse the items to students.
Parents and students this week took advantage of well-stocked supplies at local stores.
One parent, Daphne Raines and her daughter Kristi Jones, a Rosemary Clarke Middle School RCMS student said they have already picked up a majority of back to school supplies.
“We have been getting some early supplies; the stuff that she likes. The girly kind of stuff that they have out there that may be gone by the time school starts. I haven’t bought anything huge. The biggest thing might be a calculator,” she said.
On Monday, RCMS Principal Tim Wombaker said the he and his staff are more than ready to begin another school year.
He provided a special message and pertinent information for new and returning students to Pahrump’s only middle school.
“Welcome back to all students and parents of RCMS. We are excited to begin a new school year. Open house/orientation will be held on Thursday, Aug. 23. Sixth grade will be from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 7th and 8th grade will be from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. We will start in the gym with a variety of instructional booths to visit. These booths will have important information regarding free and reduced lunch forms, bus information, parent involvement information, GEAR UP for 7th grade only , immunizations, Nye Community Coalition campus information, and class schedules will be handed out. We hope you can make it to gather this valuable information and take a tour of the campus,” he said.
Wombaker also noted that there are no new rule or policy changes coming to RCMS this year.
“We have the same administrative team and many returning teachers. The dress code that was newly adopted last year for middle schools and high schools in Nye County is still in effect. The RCMS supply list is available in stores and also has the dress code listed to help parents. More information is also on our website at http://rclarke.nyek12.nv.us There is one change in schedule, we will still have early release Wednesdays, but we will release at 1:25 p.m. every Wednesday. Last year, it was 1:35 p.m,” he said.
Jaydon Augustine will attend RCMS this year.
Though he said spent most of the summer taking it easy, he is eager to return to class but noted his activities in his leisure time.
“I played video games, watched TV, and slept,” he said.
While getting some shopping done, one former RCMS student identified as Richard said he is chomping at the bit to enter Pahrump Valley High School this year.
“I think it’s pretty exciting because there are new opportunities and I get to see my friends again. I haven’t seen them all summer. Most of them anyway. They got a new building at the high school so I’m pretty sure that’s going to be nice. I’m going to be in ROTC too,” he said.
Parents with kids at PVHS or any of the four elementary schools in Pahrump can find out the types of supplies are needed for the upcoming semester online by logging on to the school’s website.
Students will go back to school starting Monday, Aug, 27.