School shop till they drop

Parents, students shop for needed supplies
By: Jenifer Gee Journal Staff Writer
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The bell doesn’t toll for one local teacher until the end of the month, but that didn’t stop her from purchasing those needed school supplies early. “I’m trying to get ahead of the game before the rush,” said Tracy Stokes, while shopping in Auburn’s Target Wednesday. As the first day of school starts for some students this week, it’s that time of year when parents and their children rifle through boxes of markers, pick out a new backpack, buy unsharpened pencils and pick up stacks of unused notebooks. Christian Valley’s Stokes doesn’t welcome her fourth grade class at Weimar School until Aug. 28, but she was at Target last week buying desk supplies and picking out composition books for her students. Not to mention the new backpack her 8-year-old daughter, Camryn, was searching for and the lunch box her 11-year-old son, Riley, wanted to buy. “I kind of like the ones that go over your shoulder because they’re kind of easy to carry and take off,” Camryn said. Riley said he’s looking for a lunch box that’s practical. “I don’t want a big one,” he said. “I want just a plain color and kind of small. I want it to fit in my back pack with all the other stuff.” Cool resident Karyn Mertz and her four children were also roaming the school supply aisles at Auburn’s Target. Backpacks, planners, pencils and papers were on the list, Mertz said. Her 10-year-old daughter, Kimi, was on the hunt for athletic-themed folders. “I want a sports one,” Kimi said. “I like to play basketball and football.” Seventeen-year-old Kelli Mertz was looking for a new backpack. “I think I want a JanSport because it’s a good brand and it lasts forever,” Kelli Mertz said. Their friend, Chey Sturgill, 16, was already one step-ahead. “I already bought my school supplies and I’m using the same backpack from last year,” Sturgill said. Leticia McCann, manager of the Auburn Target, said they’ve noticed an increase this week in sales compared to other weeks in the month. The store has also bumped up their staffing to 200 extra hours of employee time, McCann said. Tracy Stokes said that she is more budget conscious this year because of cuts in the school system, but she still strives to make her classroom a welcoming environment. “I try to change my classroom up every year to make it look new and inviting,” Tracy Stokes said. “I think of it as a recreation of my house. For me I’m in there a lot so I want to make it look like my home.” Oh, and before she leaves Auburn’s Target, Tracy Stokes knows she’ll be back for more staplers and pencils, which also seem to break around her students, she said, laughing. The Journal's Jenifer Gee can be reached at or post a comment. ---------- School bell schedules The following schools welcome kids back on Aug. 13. Below is a list of their first-day start times: - Placer High School: 7:30 a.m. - Foresthill High School: 7:50 a.m. - Del Oro High School: 7:50 a.m. - Colfax High School: 7:53 a.m. -Auburn Elementary: 8:45 a.m. for AM kindergarten; noon for PM kindergarten; 9:15 a.m. grades 1-5 -E.V. Cain Middle School: 8:04 a.m. - Rock Creek School: 9:15 a.m. for kindergarten and grades 1-5 - Skyridge: 8 a.m. kindergarten and grades 1-5 - Colfax Elementary: 8 a.m. ----------