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Rapides Parish Library holds school supply giveaway as school spending expected to break record levels

According to a National Retail Federation survey, back to school spending is projected to reach $101 billion
Published: Jul. 29, 2020 at 4:57 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - School supplies don’t come cheap any year, but this year, COVID-19 is forecast to push back-to-school spending to record levels for families, according to the National Retail Federation.

On Wednesday, the Rapides Parish Library held a school supply giveaway to help ease that burden for Cenla parents, partnering with Healthy Blue to give out 500 school supply kids at the Main Library branch in downtown Alexandria.

The kits included everything from pencils and notebooks to calculators. According to the National Retail Federation’s latest survey, parents with children in elementary through high school will spend an average of $789 to send kids back to school, topping the previous record of $69. Families with college students will spend more than $1,000. Tech-related items like laptops and electronic accessories are the reason for the increase in costs, as many students transition to virtual learning.

“We feel that it’s even more important this year because a lot of people are facing job uncertainty and they have other costs like you mentioned, masks or things they need to protect themselves. So, we just kind of want to lift that burden a little bit and it’s one more way that our library can help the community,” said library director Celise Reech-Harper.

According to the NRF’s survey, back to school spending for K-12 and college combined is projected to reach $101 billion, topping the $100 billion mark for the first time.

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