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Talent school supply list calls for ‘a few pens' and ‘read a book together’

Talent Middle School’s bulldogs mascot from the letterhead of a school supply list that the principal said was ‘unlike any other supply list you’ve experienced.’

Acknowledging that most of its students and families are still reeling from the aftermath of the Almeda fire, Talent Middle School has issued a school supply list that the principal intends to be “unlike any other school supply list you’ve experienced.”

The supply list and letter from Talent Middle School principal Kent Vallier states that the “typical supply list of past years is not really relevant today” in an era when students’ assignments are often completed on Chromebooks or other classroom supplied materials.

He states that’s especially true for students and families shaped by hardships after the Sept. 8, 2020, fire that ravaged Phoenix and Talent.

“The ‘things’ aren’t important. Your time and money are,” Vallier’s letter posted Thursday on Phoenix-Talent School District’s Twitter page stated. “Please spend both precious resources on things that matter.”

Only one line on the list calls for “a few pens or pencils and some paper.” The bulk of Vallier’s letter highlights teens’ emotional and social needs.

Most of the bullet points are suggestions such as ensuring that the kids spend time with their loved ones, that parents establish predictable routines and that they both read a book together. Other ideas presented include playing a board game, taking a walk or building something together.

“They’ve all been through significant trauma given the pandemic and devastating fires,” the letter states.

Reach web editor Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat.