FAIRMONT - Stuff for School coordinators are hard at work preparing supplies for next year's kindergartners, even before they finish preschool.
The program provides supplies for kindergartners at public and parochial schools in Martin County.
Working with each school served, the group ensures supplies are exactly what each teacher requests for his or her students.
Two hundred-eighty students were outfitted last year with pencils, pencil case, folder, notebook, sleeping mat, Kleenex, scissor, glue-stick and crayons.
It takes $3,500 to collect enough supplies, which the committee raises from local business and individuals.
The program began 13 years ago, when Lavonne Bowman of Fairmont observed a co-worker bringing pencils to William Budd. When asked about it, she was surprised to learn many students didn't have enough supplies to start the school year.
Bowman chaired the committee from then on, but retired from the Stuff for School committee last year. It is now being co-chaired by Diane Hendricks and Sue Hinz.
Another change this year is the nonprofit through which the donations are collected. Previous years had donations sent to Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. The committee has decided to use a local nonprofit, Youth First, this year.
To contribute to the project, checks can be sent to Youth First and mailed to the Fairmont Area Chamber of Commerce at 323 E. Blue Earth Ave., P.O. Box 826, Fairmont MN 560301. All donations are tax-deductible.