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Parents content to foot the bill

July 22, 2007|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

WASHINGTON COUNTY-Even with the opening day of Washington County Public Schools a month away, school-supply shoppers were out in large numbers Friday at the Wal-Mart Supercenter at the Centre at Hagerstown.

Karen Cronise of Boonsboro said it's become a tradition for her to pick up school supplies for her grandson, Eric Santis, who is entering third grade. Eric's parents take care of getting him new clothes.

Lori Pepple of Sharpsburg was holding a list of items she planned to buy for her daughters, Bethany, 7, who is starting third grade, and Jenna, 10, who is going into fifth grade.

The girls had pencils, but they needed notebooks, binders and tissues, their mother said.

Sheila Mangum figured she had about 60 items still to buy for son David, going into fifth grade; daughter Angel, going into sixth grade; and son Pierce, going into seventh grade.

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She was "partially" done with shopping for a fourth child, who is starting ninth grade.

Three items left on Donna Moats' checklist for her daughter, Hannah, were a pencil box, glue sticks and Fiskar scissors for little hands.

"Wal-Mart has 'em all on sale," Moats said.

Hannah, 6, who is going into first grade at Fountain Rock Elementary School, was excited about her new "High School Musical" book bag, referring to a show on The Disney Channel.

None of the shoppers interviewed expressed any qualms about how much it will cost to fill the lists.

"They need it," Sherrie Heller said as she picked up "a little of everything" for her daughter, Megan, 12, who is starting seventh grade at Springfield Middle School. "They can't go without it."

"A little of everything," she figured, would cost between $50 and $60.

Cronise said she rather would pay a little more than have teachers buy items for students.

"I really don't think that's fair," she said.

"It's part of their education, and we like to get durable things that will last for the school year," said Mangum, guessing that she was about to spend between $180 and $200 on three children.

"It's what I expected," said Pepple, who predicted she would spend about $50 on supplies for each daughter. "I don't like to complain because they have such a great school and great teachers. Whatever we can do to help."

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