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Back-to-school fever hits local stores

Kiara Barber, a student at Robert Cross Middle Magnet School, selects a binder for her first day back to class next week.

Kiara Barber, a student at Robert Cross Middle Magnet School, selects a binder for her first day back to class next week.

ALBANY, Ga. -- Armed with pre-supplied lists, area parents converged on department stores this week, seeking a variety of educational necessities for their school-aged children.

Keith Speir of Leesburg was at Walmart Saturday with two separate lists for his daughters Brooke, 12, who attends Lee County Middle School, and Courtney, 7, a Lee County Elementary School student.

“Binders, dividers, index cards, glue, colored pencils, markers — just about everything you can think of. I do not enjoy doing this,” Keith Speir said. Speir figures the grand

total for items purchased at Walmart and Sam’s

will come to more than $100.

Some shoppers were quick to voice their disappointment that the Georgia sales tax holiday next Friday and Saturday comes too late to be of much relief to South Georgia parents. Classes at Dougherty County schools begin this Monday the fifth. Lee students hold out until the following Friday.

“I hope it’s going to be less than $200,” said Rhonda Barber of the final tab for her daughter Kiara’s grubstake. Barber’s daughter Kiara attends Robert Cross Middle Magnet School on Lockett Station Road. Rhonda Barber said she thought the holiday was intended to be inconvenient so that parents would have to pay the full price.

Actually, for many in the larger school systems, the holiday lands just right. Fulton County schools in Atlanta, for example, doesn’t begin for students until the 12th, allowing parents significant savings for supplies and certain clothing purchases.

Indica Greene said she expected to pay more than $100 for her daughter Breccia Hector, age five, and a student at International Studies Elementary Charter School.

“I have most of her uniforms already,” Greene said, “but now we need notebooks, paper, pencils, paper, crayons, tablets, compositions books — everything for her to be creative and to help her learn.”