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To ease the burden of back-to-school expenses for parents, and help get students off to a good start, members of Rotary Club of St. Croix Mid-Isle gave out free school supplies Saturday.
“We figured parents could use some help with the supplies. Especially with the way the economy is right now,” said Eldon Providence, chairman of community service. Sweeny Toussaint, chair of the international committee, added the focus of Rotary internationally is literacy. “This is part of our overall mission.”

The Rotarians gathered under a tent, where President Angela Cumberbatch and her husband, Arthur, manned the popcorn machine and grilled hot dogs for purchase.

The kids ran across the grounds of the St. Croix campus of the University of the Virgin Islands to the blow-up bouncer, tossed their footwear aside, climbed in and bounced until the games began.

Jay Jay the clown led the youngsters in old-fashioned games such as sack races, tug-o-war, egg and spoon relay, and bean bag toss. The kids lined up to have Jay Jay paint their face or hand in the case of a scared toddler.

Sevon Washington, a 10-year-old at St. Patrick’s School, said he came to play in the bouncer and to get the supplies because he knows how important being prepared for school is.

Members gave out Innovative bags full of notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, glue, scissors and rulers. The Rotarians packaged 150 bags to be given to students on a first come basis.