Enrollment has been stronger this school year than Hesperia Unified School District officials expected at the end of last year, but the recession is still being felt in district classrooms, where students come to school without necessary supplies and schools are unable to make up the difference.

To help bridge the gap, Amy Goode, the HUSD's in-house district social worker, has organized a school supply drive, with drop-off points both at the district headquarters and local school sites.

"We're hoping that the community can just help with getting some of the school supplies and classroom supplies that the classrooms need," Goode said Thursday. "Glue sticks, dry erase markers, colored pencils, paper, pencils, computer paper, crayons, markers, pens (like blue, black, red), three-ring binders (anything from one inch all the way up to three inch) and construction paper. And even folders."

Normally, most families are able to provide at least the bare essentials for this student, but not this year.

"A lot of parents aren't able to provide for the students," Goode said. And with the state's ever-growing deficit, school districts are similarly pinched and unable to make up the difference. " We want everybody to have the supplies they need and the tools they need."

This year, Goode has heard from the families of "hundreds" of the 21,272 students in the district.

"I've had a lot of families calling me, asking for help with school supplies."

She's worked in the district since 2007, and the situation this year is the worst that she's seen it.

"The need that I've seen ... has grown immensely. It's so hard for families even to provide backpacks," she said. "Families are just so grateful for two pencils for each student."

Those interested in making a donation can drop it off at their local school site or in a donation box at HUSD headquarters on Main Street. For more information, or to make a bigger donation, call 244-4411 x7257.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Twitter at Twitter.com/hesperiastar.