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CONCORD, N.C. – It might be the middle of summer, but it’s never too early to start helping children prepare for the upcoming school year.

That’s the idea behind WSOC-TV’s annual School Tools campaign, and this year there is a collection bin on the Hendrick Motorsports campus – and anyone donating school supplies will receive a 20 percent discount in the team store.

The School Tools program first began in 1997, and to date has served more than 3 million children. School supplies are collected and distributed to students in grades K-12 throughout 22 counties.

It’s a partnership with Communities in Schools Charlotte-Mecklenburg and Classroom Central, which equips students living in poverty to effectively learn by providing the donated school supplies free of cost.

This year, the most needed items include pencils, packs of markers, scissors, packs of colored pencils, glue sticks, packs of crayons, composition books, pocket folders and packs of filler paper. Additional items to donate could be thumb drives, binders, earbuds or bookbags.

On Aug. 15, there will be a School Tools start-up event at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in uptown Charlotte, North Carolina. The festivities, which will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., will offer a chance to meet NASCAR drivers, local mascots and WSOC-TV personalities for those who bring a school supply donation.

There will even be the opportunity to see the No. 24 Liberty University Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 up close.

All donations dropped off in the bin on the Hendrick Motorsports campus – just inside the Team Store & Museum – will be delivered to the Hall of Fame for the start-up event.

So, for those planning to visit Hendrick Motorsports headquarters in the next few weeks, be sure to bring some school supplies and take advantage of the 20 percent discount!