Not every child heading back to school in September can afford to buy the supplies they need for the coming year.
Mayor Carmen F. Amato Jr. and town and school officials want to make sure no elementary school child in the township goes without.
So they have launched the first annual "Mayor's School Supply Drive," for all students in the township's four elementary schools.
"Having been involved in our community for many years, I know we have families struggling out there," Amato said. "I wanted to do something to help."
Amato asked Berkeley Schools Superintendent James Roselli how many children come to the first day of school without a book bag, backpack or school supplies.
"As I suspected, quite a few," the mayor said.
The school supply drive is a collaborative effort between the mayor's office, the Berkeley Township Board of Education and the Berkeley Township Council.
"It has been great so far, but we have more to collect," Amato said.
The items needed include:
• Pens, pencils and erasers
• Crayons and colored pencils
• Book bags
Residents can drop off their donation at the Berkeley Township Recreation Center at 630 Route 9 South in Bayville; the mayor's office at Town Hall at 627 Pinewald-Keswick Road, or the Holiday City at Berkeley Clubhouse 2 on Port Royal Drive.
"These are difficult economic times and we are committed to providing needed school supplies for our children," Amato said.
For more information, call the mayor's office at 732-244-7400, ext. 203.