Annual Charleston First Day Festival school supply drive underway

The city of Charleston is holding a school supply drive to prepare for its annual First Day Festival.
Published: Jul. 31, 2023 at 3:31 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 31, 2023 at 5:26 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - The city of Charleston is holding a school supply drive to prepare for its annual First Day Festival.

The most requested supplies include pencils, crayons, markers, colored pencils, composition notebooks, loose-leaf paper, spiral notebooks, glue sticks, two-pocket folders and pencil pouches.

The city is accepting donations of school supplies at six locations through 5 p.m. on Aug. 10:


  • Arthur Christopher Community Center, 265 Fishburne St.
  • Charleston Gaillard Center, 75 Calhoun St., Suite 3700
  • City of Charleston Parks and Recreation offices, 823 Meeting St.

West Ashley/James Island:

  • James Island Recreation Center, 1088 Quail Drive
  • Bees Landing Recreation Center, 1580 Ashley Gardens Blvd.

Daniel Island/Charleston:

  • Daniel Island Recreation Center, 160 Fairbanks Drive

Donations can also be sent to the City of Charleston, Mayor’s Office for Children, Youth and Families at 75 Calhoun Street, Suite 3700, Charleston, SC 29401.

Pre-packaged school supplies will then be given to students at the festival, which is set to take place on Aug. 13 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Gaillard Center and South Carolina Aquarium.

“The First Day Festival makes the remarkable impact it does because of the unwavering support of our Charleston community,” Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said. “Each year, through contributions of supplies, participation from local organizations and more, the festival brings an unparalleled celebration of education that gets local students ready for a strong start to the new school year. We look forward to welcoming students and their families for our 20th annual event next month.”

Charleston has hosted the First Day Festival since 2003 as a way to celebrate education and the start of a new school year.

Along with the distribution of school supplies, the festival will feature exhibits that showcase student support services and community resources, entertainment and activities in the city Recreation Department’s Kids Zone; boat rides, free admission to the South Carolina Aquarium and a food distribution in partnership with the Lowcountry Food Bank.

This event is made possible through partnerships with the Charleston County School District, the South Carolina Aquarium and Lowcountry Food Bank; financial sponsors TD Bank, United Bank, Nucor Steele, the InterTech Group, Hanysworth, Sinkler, Boyd, and Burr & Forman; and help from exhibitors, volunteers and donors.