The El Paso Community Foundation and El Paso Community College distributed more than 1,200 backpacks to students in need through the School Store earlier this week.
Each fall, the School Store provides backpacks filled with school supplies to students at elementary schools and community shelters in El Paso. The School Store, which launched in 2015, seeks to address educational inequity by ensuring that vulnerable, low-income students are provided with the supplies necessary to begin the school year. This year, 25 School Store volunteers assisted with assembling the backpacks, which were distributed across nine school districts and community shelters.
“The El Paso Community Foundation is so proud to partner with El Paso Community College to help students start their school year ready for success and hopefully spark their interest in continuing their educations beyond high school,” said Stephanie Otero, Vice President of Operations for EPCF.
Counselors at the schools and community shelters select students based on need. Each backpack typically includes a pencil box, erasers, highlighter, composition notebooks, markers, crayons, colored pencils, paper, scissors, and folders.
“I am, once again, moved by the generosity of the Community Foundation and the students, faculty, and staff of EPCC,” said Shanan Valles, Associate Professor of Psychology at EPCC. “With their help we delivered filled backpacks to over 1,200 students. It was crucial to get supplies to the children in El Paso County this year so they can return to school ready and confident.”
Once assembled, the backpacks were distributed to the schools and community shelters by EPCC volunteers.