Pre-K and Kindergarten students from William Penn, Lincoln, Fountain Hill, Union Terrace,and Clearview Elementary Schools benefited from the Junior League of the Lehigh Valley’s first Backpack Give Back event held on August 21, 2019. League members and volunteers from the partnering schools and community stuffed 442 backpacks setting these students up for success in the 2019 – 2020 school year.
Over forty volunteers attended the Backpack Giveback event held at the Hyatt Place Bethlehem. All five elementary schools were represented by principals, teachers or community in school personnel.
“We are delighted by the success of this event and by how many children and schools we were able to touch and make a difference in the Lehigh Valley,” said Laureen Pellegrino, President of the Junior League of the Lehigh Valley. “Our goal at the League is to make an impact on educational disparity. Nothing sparks a child’s interest in learning and in school like a new book bag filled with school supplies.”
In the U.S, families spend $26.2 billion on back-to-school shopping; with the average household spending $696.70. According to the 2018 School Supply Impact Report from Kids in Need Foundation, 15 million American children live in poverty while 21 million rely on free or reduced lunch. School supplies can be a financial burden and the Junior League of the Lehigh Valley wants to alleviate that burden to local families.
“The Junior League of the Lehigh Valley has been a committed partner of ours in helping us prepare our students for future success,” said Benita Draper, Principal at Lincoln Elementary School. “We see every day the impact school supplies can have on our students. With school supplies readily available, our students have improved self-esteem, participate in class and have a greater interest in learning.”