NORTH CHARLESTON - More than 1,200 students will be ready to hit the books Aug. 18, thanks to a school supply giveaway on Saturday at the North Charleston Convention Center.

Organized by the North Charleston Community & Police Panel, the event was started three years ago to ensure that students in Charleston County schools are present and ready for the first day of school.

The crowd was about the same size as last year's, said Spencer Pryor, public information officer for the North Charleston Police Department.

"When we started at 10 a.m., we had a steady line and it continued until we closed the doors at 12," Pryor said. "We even had a few trickle in at the last minute, and although it was designed for students at North Charleston schools, we didn't turn anybody down."

The event was set up assembly line-style and allowed for students from kindergarten through 12th grade to go through and gather supplies.

"The first area was for kindergarten through third grade and included things like crayons and pencils," Pryor said. "The next section was for fourth grade up and included everything they would need."

The event was limited to supplies and did not include free book bags or school uniforms. It also was strictly a supply distribution, with no entertainment or other activities, with the exception of representation from a mentor group and two of the schools, who handed out information, Pryor said.

Sponsors included Cathedral of Praise, Turner Construction, Royal Baptist Church, Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, Evening of Prayer Church of God In Christ, Truth and Fellowship Ministry, Yire' International Church, Sam Williams Foundation and Michael & Company.

"A lot of them used to do their own school supply drives and we wanted to get it all under one roof," Pryor said. "We are really thankful that the sponsors stepped up to the plate. It worked out terrific."