MORGANTOWN — Call it a Harbinger of Homeroom.
A Siren for Social Studies.
The Opening Round for Roll Call, Recess and the 3 Rs.
It came in the form of a simple letter sign posted at Checkout Aisle No. 14 at the Hornbeck Road Walmart on Thursday evening: ‘VOUCHERS,” the sign read, in all capital letters.
With the first day of school in Monongalia County just two weeks away, the opening bell has already sounded for clothes shopping.
For many families in West Virginia, that means what No. 14 was directing for its designated purchases: School vouchers.
The cash outlay of $200 is annually issued by the state Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR).
Monies are distributed through the DHHR’s Division of Family Assistance.
More than 90,000 West Virginia children benefited from the program last year, said Linda Watts, an acting commissioner with the state Bureau for Children and Families.
“That’s 90,000 children who entered their new school with confidence,” she said.
Parents who qualified for the supplement now have until Oct. 31 to hit the racks, Watts said.
Which also means, the commissioner said, snapping up the shirts, skirts, jeans, slacks, tops, dresses, coats, belts and shoes.
It even means piece goods for the families that do their own creating and sewing for Back to School, she added.
To qualify, the monthly income for a family of four may not exceed $2,092, according to DHHR guidelines.
Then-Gov. Arch Moore launched the program in 1974 with a $25 outlay. Lawmakers in 2007 upped the offering from $150 to $200.
Info: wvinroads.org or 1-877-716-1212.
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