School bells are about to ring again, and the Florence Unified School District wants to make sure as many area students as possible get the supplies they need.
The Fifth Annual Backpack Drive plans to hand out 2,500 K-12 backpacks filled with school supplies. The drive ends Saturday, July 9. The event started on Thursday, June 7, and almost 1,000 backpacks were given out on that day alone
The July 9 event runs from 9-11 a.m. at the FUSD Community Education Building, 29892 N. Desert Willow Blvd., San Tan Valley.
It’s first come, first served and the child must be present to collect the backpack. The student does not have to be enrolled in an FUSD school and youngsters from Queen Creek and San Tan Valley are encouraged to attend.
The backpack drive is being led by FUSD’s Community Education Finance Specialist Joleen Carberry and Administrative Assistant Jennie Valencia. Students also are volunteering to help distribute the backpacks
“These two ladies spend countless hours preparing for this yearly event for the neighboring communities of San Tan Valley, Queen Creek and Florence,” wrote Rita Ann Ezzai-Reznick, FUSD’s director of public relations, in an email. “This event was sponsored by Pappas Kids Schoolhouse Foundation, which generously donates most of the supplies to give out to the community.”
The nonprofit foundation is located in Chandler and was established to help with the educational needs of low-income, homeless and at-risk youth in Arizona, as well as their families.
The mission of FUSD’s Community Education, according to its website, is to provide “quality, affordable academic, recreation, and enrichment programs that challenge and inspire all members of our growing and diverse community.”