By Curt Yeomans
A year ago, it took Clayton County Public Schools employees three days to sort through school supplies dropped off at Chick-fil-A and Truett's Grill locations in the county, according to School System Community Relations Liaison Rhonda Burnough. In the end, she said, each of the county's 61 schools received at least four boxes of donated supplies to distribute.
"That should have lasted them most of the school year," Burnough said.
The county's Chick-fil-A, and Truett's Grill restaurants once again will hold a school supply drive for the district, their third one, beginning on Monday, July 26. It is scheduled to last through Aug. 6, according to Truett's Grill of Morrow General Manager Randy Burgess.
Last year, Burgess said, the community donated enough supplies to fill 150 medium-sized paper boxes. The goal of local Chick-fil-A managers is to fill 165, to 170 boxes with supplies this year.
"We just do it for community involvement," Burgess said. "We feel we should do something to help the community out, and this is our way of giving back."
Burgess also said people who give supplies will receive a coupon for a free Chick-fil-A sandwich for every three supply items they donate.
The supply drive will lead up to the school system's annual "Back-To-School Bash," said Burgess. The bash will be held on Aug. 7, from 11 a.m., to 2 p.m., at the Clayton County Historic Courthouse, located at 121 South McDonough St., in Jonesboro.
Burgess said the boxes of supplies will be stacked up to make a wall, at the bash, before they are turned over to the school system.
The bash also is scheduled to feature 12 inflatable "bounce houses," a train ride, a D.J., two bands from Clayton County schools, and visits from Atlanta Hawks mascot Harry, the Hawk, and Atlanta Thrashers mascot, Thrash, according to Burgess.
The Truett's Grill general manager added that 28 companies and organizations, including the local Boy Scouts, Staples, Office Depot, the Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Thrashers, Atlanta Hawks and the Atlanta Falcons, are expected to have booths at the event.
The county's Truett's Grill and Chick-fil-A restaurants will also sell chicken sandwiches at the event, with money raised being used to fund scholarships for Clayton students, according to Burgess.
"We raised $1,500 from that last year, and then split that money up to pay for scholarships for three students," he said. "This year, we'd like to raise $3,000."
The most-needed items are wide-ruled paper, 8.5-by-11-inch spiral-bound notebooks, No. 2 pencils, and 16-count crayon packs for students and teachers, the school system announced on Monday. The school system is also asking for reams of copy paper for teachers.
"This way, we can ensure all children have paper, a pencil and a folder to hold their supplies in," Burnough said.
Drop-off locations for this year's supply drive, include:
* Truett's Grill of Morrow, 2042 Mt. Zion Road, in Morrow.
* The Forest Park Chick-fil-A Dwarf House, 4959 Jonesboro Road, in Forest Park.
* The Jonesboro Chick-fil-A Dwarf House, 7348 Tara Blvd., in Jonesboro.
* The Riverdale Chick-fil-A Dwarf House, 6549 Ga. Hwy. 85, in Riverdale.
* The Stockbridge Chick-fil-A Dwarf House, 3649 Ga. Hwy. 138, in Stockbridge.
* The Chick-fil-A at Lovejoy Station, 11161 Tara Blvd., in Lovejoy.
* The Chick-fil-A at Southlake Mall, 1133 Southlake Mall, in Morrow.
The school system is scheduled to begin classes for the 2010-2011 school year, on Aug. 9. For more information about the school supply drive, call Burnough at (770) 473-2700, or Burgess at (770) 210-0500.