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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Cayey promotes education with school supplies distribution

Cayey Mayor Rolando Ortiz Velázquez announced Thursday that the municipal government will again distribute school supply kits for the central mountain town’s preschoolers and elementary school children.


As the beginning of the school year for public schools in Puerto Rico draws near, the shopping spree will most certainly begin. School shopping sprees are not simple tasks; anyone who is a parent can share their experience of back-to-school shopping and how difficult it is, not only because of the volume of people visiting supercenters and supply stores, but also because of Inflation. According to the National Retail Federation, back-to-school spending is expected to go up this year in the United States, with $41.5 billion in spending anticipated, up from last year’s $36.9 billion. The median household income in Puerto Rico is $21,967; therefore, a lot of parents simply don’t have the resources to spend too much money on school materials.

However, Cayey’s municipal administration is mitigating the issue. On Thursday, Mayor Rolando Ortiz Velázquez announced that as a municipal strategy the town government will support public education by once again incentivizing the back-to-school season with the distribution of supply kits for Cayey’s preschoolers and elementary school children.

The event will take place next Wednesday, Aug. 2 in a drive-through format in front of Pedro Montañez Stadium from 8 a.m. to noon. Parents or guardians who attend the event must bring paper evidence of Cayey residence (such as an electricity or water service bill) and personal identification, and fill out some additional paperwork.

Each kit includes six notebooks, pencils, pencil sharpeners, crayons, writing paper, map books and many other materials. Masks will also be included, as well as antibacterial gel. There are more than 3,800 kits available and ready for distribution throughout the time established or as long as they last.

It isn’t the first time the central mountain town has invested in education. Over the past couple of years, the municipality has had many initiatives to support students and schools in general, such as giving away a tablet computer to every high school graduate with the purpose of incentivizing educational work or any kind of work in their immediate future. All graduates from private and public schools receive the same benefit. Over the past nine years, more than 4,000 students have benefited from the municipal initiative, which promotes technological innovation.

Recently, Cayey held various graduations, where all three high school classes of 2023 received $5,000 each to cover the cost of all expenses related to the 2023 class. All of this was accomplished through an arrangement whereby students performed voluntary labor receiving visitors in the town’s well-known tourist spots, promoting tourism in each of its manifestations -- gastronomic, sports and cultural.

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