'Back To School' Supply Bash

BOCA RATON, FL (WFLX) School hasn't started yet, but Saturday could be the biggest day of the school year for 20,000 Palm Beach County students.

The economy's toll means that many children are in danger of starting the school year without the basics: pens, pencils and paper.

At the Delray Beach Boys and Girls Club, they got an early start.

Volunteers at the 'Back-to-School Bash' picked up supplies for kids who couldn't make it Saturday.

"I do have two middle school children, so I know how tough it can be," said Liz Williams, a parent.

Francois Durand also knows how tough it can be.

He's a Boca Raton High School sophomore and he'll be at the Wayne Barton Study Center Saturday to help erase bad memories.

A backpack filled with all this stuff is appealing when your own is nearly empty.

"I remember one time, I was in math class. I was looking through my book bag, I had no papers, no pencils, I couldn't take notes. I couldn't be involved in the class," said Durand.

The Barton Center says the economy has created a huge need for school supplies.

Five years ago, they gave out 700 backpacks.

This year, they'll give out 8,000 and they have to limit it to kids who are already served by area non-profits.

"These are people who just wouldn't have it if you don't provide it. It's a sad situation that we're in," said Wayne Barton, the CEO of a program with the same name.

The 'Back-to-School Bash' will distribute 3,000 backpacks at the Delray Boys and Girls Club. Across the county, they'll give out 7,000 more.

It's an effort to make sure kids have the chance, to have a chance.

"My dad has always wanted me to become a doctor. But he gave me the freedom to select what field. I want to become a cardiovascular surgeon," said Durand.

The head of the 'Back-to-School Bash' says that the reason so many kids need help this year is simple: national estimates say it costs an average of $600 per child to get equipped for the school year.