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Donors fill bus with supplies

Support Sonora School, the parent organization that has taken charge of collecting donations for Sonora Elementary School after a fire damaged 15 classrooms on Nov. 23, says school supplies like pencils and glue are no longer needed after a successful donation drive.

The organization saw an outpouring of donations last week, particularly during its “Stuff the Bus” event Wednesday. 

“We have definitely enough for 200 students and then some,” said SSS President Carla Salyers. 

A goal was set to bring in school supplies for the approximately 200 students who lost their supplies and, for many, their classrooms. 

Students will return to school Tuesday. Last week was a scheduled week off for the Thanksgiving holiday, and today will be a preparation day for teachers who must rework their curriculum and adjust to new temporary locations.

Primarily fourth- and fifth-graders were affected by the fire.

Those grades require more supplies than younger students, sparking the idea to have a donation drive to replace everyday items taken for granted like pencils, notepads and gluesticks, according to Salyers. 

On Wednesday, Bus 6 was driven to the school by its driver, Cindy Pearson O’Brien, who also helped at the event. 

Community members “stuffed” it with school supplies previously requested. Support Sonora School has since compiled bags for every child with a pencil, eraser, sharpener, glue, scissors, binder, composition notebook, colored pencils, ruler, tissue, and “probably more,” according to Salyers.

The group has also received more than $7,000 in monetary contributions since the fire, she said. 

The California Correctional Peace Officers Association donated the most at $5,000. 

Black Oak Casino and the Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce each donated $1,000, according to Salyers.

Salyers steered new would-be donors to the organization’s website, which has a list of specific donation requests by each teacher. 

To see the list, visit the website at www.support sonoraschool.org.

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