Colorado State University Employees Organize Program that Provides School Supplies for 1,150 Area Children

Note to Editors: Colorado State University and community volunteers will stuff backpacks starting at 9 a.m. Aug. 12 at Edwards Hall Cafeteria. Backpacks will be delivered to schools Aug. 13 from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Reporters are welcome to join volunteers as they stuff packs or deliver supplies to schools across Fort Collins. To set up interviews or photos, contact Dell Rae Moellenberg at (970) 491-6009.

A community outreach effort organized by Colorado State University volunteers will provide more than 1,150 area elementary and junior-high school children with new backpacks and back-to-school supplies this fall.

The School Is Cool program raised more than $16,000 to give less-fortunate children the supplies they need to start the school year. Through the program, university employees buy and fill backpacks or donate funds that are used to purchase packs and supplies.

On Aug. 12 and 13, Colorado State employees will donate time to stuff and deliver the backpacks to area schools. After Colorado State volunteers deliver the packs to 36 participating schools, school principals discreetly distribute the backpacks so children and their families are not identified.

This year, the program received support from Norlarco Credit Union, the University Bookstore, JD Padilla of Post Modern Development, Jay Stoner of Stoner and Company  and a grant from the Fort Collins Coloradoan/Gannett Foundation.

School Is Cool was launched in 1992. That year, 63 backpacks were distributed to Poudre School District elementary and junior-high students.

Last year, the program provided supplies to 1,084 students, but the demand is much greater this year, estimated at a need for nearly 1,500 backpacks. Backpacks are filled with an average of 12 items ranging from crayons to three-ring binders to paper and scissors.

Nearly than 4,100 elementary and junior-high students in Poudre School District -almost 26 percent – participate in the free and reduced-price lunch program. The number of backpacks distributed to each school is based on the school’s percentage of students enrolled in this special lunch program.