The cost of new books and supplies quickly adds up and children grow. New clothes and shoes are needed. All of which puts an extra strain on a stretched household budget.
There are several organizations out there working toward a common goal. They want to make sure children start school with what they need. Volunteers are working overtime to get clothes and supplies packed and ready for distribution.
"I've been in that position before where it was time for my children to go to school and I didn't have it. And if it weren't for someone else helping me and blessing me, that changed my life. So to do this on a wide scale, I know it will be life-changing," said Miriam Harris.
She knows what it feels like to go without. Which is why she decided to volunteer with Mission Birmingham for the Ready Day One Program.
"I can see very much the benefit to the community," said Harris.
Tomorrow, some four-thousand children will get a new school uniform, shoes, a book bag and supplies. The goal is to prevent absenteeism by making sure children are prepared for the first day of class.
"In years past only fifty percent came on the first day. This year we want to have one-hundred percent participation," said Frank Woodson, Executive Director of Mission Birmingham's Transformation strategies.
He says children from low and middle income homes will receive the clothes and supplies. More importantly, says Woodson, is the impact this will have on their performance in the classroom.
"Just imagine when that kid goes back to school and doesn't have to wear a dingy shirt; when they can put on a white shirt that's bright like every other kid and they can't be distinguished out for being poor or without, then that child is ready now to succeed. That's one more obstacle that it out of the way," he said.
Woodson says funding for the city school system is based heavily on average daily attendance. So projects like this have a far reaching impact.