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Charleston hosts school supply drive for students; it comes with free aquarium admission

First Day Festival (copy)

The city of Charleston is accepting school supplies to hand out for the First Day Festival on Aug. 8. File/Grace Beahm Alford/Staff

The city of Charleston is accepting school supply donations through Aug. 3 in preparation for the new school year. 

The city is collecting the donations at various sites throughout the Charleston area. The donations will be used as part of the First Day Festival from 1-4 p.m. Aug. 8. at the Gaillard Center and South Carolina Aquarium. 

The festival is an opportunity for local families to gather supplies, meet with educators and learn more about the upcoming school year. The festival will feature exhibits with information on student support services and community resources, according to a news release. 

Kids will also have the chance meet classmates and participate in activities in the Department of Recreation's Kid Zone. Families will also gain free admission to the aquarium, according to the release. 

The aquarium continues to limit building capacity so those who are not able to be in the aquarium will receive a ticket for the Gaillard Center.

The city is accepting any school supplies but encourages donors to bring in pencils, pens, erasers, wide-ruled filler paper, wide-ruled composition books, pocket folders, crayons, markers, colored pencils, index cards, tissues, hand sanitizer, glue or glue sticks and scissors. 

People close to downtown can donate supplies at any of the following locations:

  • Arthur Christopher Community Center, 265 Fishburne St.
  • St. Julian Devine Community Center, 1 Cooper St.
  • Charleston Galliard Center, 95 Calhoun St.
  • Charleston Parks and Recreation Offices, 823 Meeting St. 

The city also has the following locations set up in West Ashley, James Island, North Charleston and Daniel Island:

  • Bees Landing Recreation Center, 1580 Ashley Gardens Blvd. in West Ashley
  • Hindu Temple of Charleston, 1740 Jervey Ave. in West Ashley 
  • James Island Recreation Center, 1088 Quail Drive
  • Daniel Island Recreation Center, 160 Fairbanks Drive
  • Charleston County Public Service Building, 4045 Bridge View Drive in North Charleston

Anyone with questions about the festival or the school supply drive can reach out to Mindy Sturm at The first day of school is Aug. 16 for the Berkeley County School District and Dorchester District 2, and Aug. 18 for the Charleston County School District. 

Follow Libby Stanford on Twitter @libbystanford.

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