School material

There are several opportunities for Johnson County residents

With school just a few weeks away, many local residents and organizations are hosting back-to-school drives to ensure all students have the supplies they need for the new year.

In Cleburne, there are several drives to choose from.

The Johnson County APPLES program — Assisting Parents Provided Learning & Education Supplies — will host its annual back-to-school fair from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Aug. 10 at Wheat Middle School, 810 N. Colonial Drive. This is the 10th year the coalition has hosted the fair.

Students eligible for assistance are those in Cleburne, Godley, Keene and Rio Vista. Pre-registered families will receive a backpack and supplies for children in prekindergarten through 12th grade.

Additionally, community organizations will be available to give information about youth activities, insurance, adult education programs and healthier eating initiatives. The Lions Club will also coordinate eye exams during the event.

Brittney Sullivan, 32, of Cleburne is asking residents to donate supplies to King’s Ransom Boutique, 115 S. Main St., at the Wright Plaza in downtown Cleburne. She is seeking supplies that can be used for every grade level, including pencils, pens, paper, markers, crayons, rulers, erasers, folders, construction paper and calculators.

She decided to give back to the community after receiving support for an accident that ended in half her face covered with third-degree burns. She was diagnosed with epilepsy in 2013.  

She created the Beauty Within Brittney Facebook page a couple months later to encourage other girls with inspirational messages about what true beauty means to her.

For information, visit Sullivan’s Facebook page.

Cleburne’s Highpoint Church of God is hosting a back-to-school bash at 9 a.m. Aug. 10 at Hulen Park for children ages 12 and under. There will be a family worship service at 10:30 a.m. Aug. 11 at the church, 953 E. Henderson St. To register, visit highpointcog.com.  

Alvarado

Alvarado’s Veterans of Foreign War Post No. 9299 will host its Jarhead Jam Back-to-School event from 1-7 p.m. Saturday at the VFW, 6732 U.S. 67, in Alvarado. They are giving away supplies for students in Alvarado, Keene and Venus ISDs.

For information, call 817-783-8787.

Burleson

Chick-fil-a is hosting a school supply drive now through Aug. 17 for students in Burleson ISD.

Bring three items from the list below and receive a coupon for a free Chick-fil-a chicken sandwich or nuggets. Supplies needed include Crayola crayons, No. 2 pencils, headphones/earbuds, notebook paper, folders with brads, Elmer’s glue, glue sticks, expo markers, composition books, colored pencils, one subject spiral notebooks, 9 by 12 inch construction paper, blue/black pens, highlighters, sticky notes, Kleenex, disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer, pink erasers, 9 by 12 inch manilla paper, plastic pencil boxes or 1-inch three-ring binders.

Godley

The Godley Police Department is hosting its third annual school supply drive.

Godley Police Chief Jason Jordan said the drive helps families and Godley ISD to set off the financial burden these supplies may cost. Tubs will be placed around the city at various locations and at Godley City Hall.

Residents may give supplies to a GPD officer, drop off monetary donations at city hall or mail checks to 200 W. Railroad St., Godley, TX 76044. Make money orders or checks payable to the city of Godley and write, “school supplies” in the memo section.

For information, visit their Facebook page.  

Joshua

First United Methodist Church Joshua will host its Blessing of the Backpacks back-to-school celebration from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 11 at 114 Paula Drive.

There will be a magic show performance by The Almost-Amazing Marko in the gym, and snow cones will be served outside the worship center from Texas Snow.

Students are encouraged to bring a backpack as the ministry team will pray and bless them during the service. Each student will receive a gift.

Joshua ISD teachers, counselors and administrators are invited as they bless backpacks for the district’s Backpack4kids program.

For more information, call 817-558-9801.

SPARK Worldwide — Serving, Protecting And Raising Kids — and Open Door Church of Burleson will host its annual Spark in the Park back-to-school event from 6-8 p.m. Aug. 10 at Joshua City Park, 831 N. Main St.

There will be backpacks, schools supplies for pre-kindergartners through middle-schoolers, and haircuts, food and games will also be available.

SPARK is a nonprofit organization created by Open Door pastors Leanna Brewer and her husband, Troy Brewer, to help children with various needs.

For information, visit sparkworldwide.org.

Tax-free weekend

Tax-free weekend is from Aug. 9-11, and Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar is reminding shoppers they can save money on those and other items during the state’s sales tax holiday.

“As Texas families begin the process of replacing their beach towels with lunch boxes, the sales tax holiday is the perfect opportunity to save some money on supplies families need before the school bell rings,” Hegar said. “As a father of three, I know how these expenses can add up.”

For clothing and footwear, the tax exemption applies to each item that sells for less than $100. If the item’s price exceeds $99.99, then sales tax goes on the entire item.

Most sports equipment, helmets, gloves, pads and cleats do not qualify to be tax free. The sales tax holiday exemption doesn’t apply to rental of clothing or footwear or the alteration or cleaning services being performed on clothes or shoes.

Tax is due on sales of accessories including jewelry, handbags, purses, briefcases, luggage, umbrellas, wallets, watches and similar items.

For backpacks, elementary and secondary students can purchase them under $100 with the tax exemption. The exemption includes backpacks with wheels and messenger bags.

However, the tax exemption doesn’t include items like framed backpacks, briefcases, athletic/duffle/gym bags, computer bags, purses or luggage.

For layaways and rain checks, if the customer places the merchandise on layaway during the holiday or makes a final payment during the holiday, the item qualifies for the tax exemption.

If a customer purchases an item with the rain check during the holiday, the item will be tax free. However, if the rain-checked item is purchased after the holiday, there is no tax exemption.

The following school supplies priced at less than $100 have a tax exemption, and families don’t need to provide an exemption certificate unless buying with a business credit card or business check: binders; blackboard chalk; book bags; calculators; cellophane tape; compasses; composition books; crayons; erasers; folders — expandable, pocket, plastic and manila; glue, paste and paste sticks; highlighters; index cards and index card boxes; legal pads; lunch boxes; markers, including dry erase markers; notebooks; paper — loose leaf ruled notebook paper, copy paper, graph paper, tracing paper, manila paper, colored paper, poster board and construction paper; pencil boxes and other school supply boxes; pencil sharpeners; pencils; pens; protractors; rulers; scissors; and writing tablets.   

For information, visit comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/publications/98-490.

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