Several thousand students in the Poudre School District will benefit from the generosity of others as a result of this year’s School is Cool program. Colorado State University employees and community members volunteered their time earlier this week to organize and stuff backpacks and book bags with school supplies.
All 2,422 packs and bags were distributed to schools Thursday. Each school determines which students will receive the supplies based on need.
“This year, without fail, staff in every single school we stepped inside mentioned they’d already received calls inquiring about our backpacks – that’s a first,” said committee member Lauri Gail Jones. “Our program exhibits the good and bad in one fell swoop. In the 16 years I’ve participated in School is Cool, I’ve seen the volume of backpacks we provide increase dramatically. In our country, growth usually equates to success. Then it hits you that this many more families find themselves in need of assistance over the years to have basic things in life like school supplies for their children. That saddens me. But only for just a moment, because I consider we’re helping those families.”
Backpacks filled with notebooks, pens, rulers, crayons and erasers were distributed to 45 Poudre School District elementary, middle school and high schools. For a second consecutive year, calculators were included in all middle school backpacks.
Since 1991, School is Cool has provided free school supplies to more than 21,000 local students. This year’s School is Cool program was aided by the efforts of more than 200 volunteers.
“In the midst of a really difficult economic times, people were so supportive of School is Cool – both financially and with their time – we had more volunteers this year than I ever remember – volunteers who worked hard, stayed late, and were willing to do anything to help,“ said committee member Ann Randall. “We also keep expecting to see a sharp decline in donations due to the economic hardships; people are just amazing in their support of this effort.”
The School is Cool program is supported by a $7,500 grant from the Fort Collins-based Bohemian Foundation with assistance from the CSU Bookstore and members of the community.
For more information about School is Cool, visit www.schooliscool.colostate.edu.