Livingston Parish Assessor Jeff Taylor is sponsoring the parish’s Assess the Need campaign in an effort to provide school supplies for about 2,500 needy children who attend Livingston Parish public schools.

This year’s school supply drive, which is supported by volunteers, business donations and charitable gifts, marks the 14th year that Taylor has worked with school officials to assist families in Livingston Parish. Taylor said the campaign has set a goal of collecting nearly $50,000 in donations to meet this year’s parish-wide need.

Organizers will collect cash donations and school supplies from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. July 26 and Aug. 2 in front of the Wal-Mart stores in Denham Springs and Walker.

“Volunteers will be dressed in Assess the Need shirts, so store visitors can easily identify them and give to our program,” Taylor said.

Donations also can be dropped off from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays at the Livingston Parish Assessor’s Office in Livingston, or completed online at www.AssesstheNeed.com.

Taylor said the Assess the Need program has collected well over half a million dollars in donations and supplies for Livingston Parish students over the past 13 years.

“With the continued support of everyone, we believe we can once again meet the need, and give our students the tools they need to be successful in the classroom,” he said.

No application process for assistance from the Assess the Need is necessary, Taylor said. Instead, school counselors and teachers will identify students’ needs and provide Assess the Need volunteers with a list of basic school supplies that are needed, such as notebooks, paper, scissors, glue, crayons, markers, construction paper, pencils, ink pens, rulers, pocket folders and book bags, Taylor said.

Families in need should contact their school principals or school counselors, he said.

Supplies will be sorted and made available for principals to pick up prior to the start of school on Aug. 7, enabling the teachers and counselors to distribute the supplies to students on the first day.

“It’s important that our students begin the school year on a positive,” Taylor said. “Doing so can set the tone for their success for the rest of the year. We want to send our children the message that each of them matter and we are investing in their success.”

For information, “like” Assess the Need on Facebook or visit www.AssessTheNeed.com.