Project Ready-to-Learn

2022 Backpack program
With your help, we provided low-income children with a brand-new backpack and ample supplies to help them compete with their more affluent classmates. Thank you for helping level the playing field for school children in need.

2021 Backpack program was another success. Thank you for your support as we send our kids back to school this fall.

2020 Backpack program POSTPONED
Due to the pandemic, closures of onsite County offices, and staff shortage we will be postponing our program until Spring 2021. We are unable to accept donations of stuffed backpacks for distribution at this time. Once classes resume in the Spring we will be starting our Project Ready to Learn program again. Thank you all for your support!

2019 Highlights
Thank you for your continued support of Project Ready to Learn! Thank you in advance from the children who will receive a backpack and be ready for school on their first day. Our 2019 Stuff-a-Backpack drive was a huge success! Thanks to our wonderful donors we distributed nearly 1,559 backpacks during the campaign and raised nearly $6,000. We also distribute backpacks year-round when needed so in total we have provided $125,410 in quality backpacks stuffed with school supplies to help low-income children compete with their more affluent classmates. Thank you Contra Costa County community!

We had a story featured on KRON4 to highlight our efforts. Please click below to watch and read the story.

Story on KRON4 link.

98.1 The Breeze – San Francisco Bay Area’s Relaxing Favorites At Work

Jack and Carolyn of THE MORNING BREEZE Radio Show talked to Jerry Falgien with Vestia about their partnership with the Contra Costa County Employment & Human Services Dept. Click HERE to listen!

A frantic “Where’s my backpack??” is a familiar phrase to any parent trying to get children out the door to school in the morning. What is a backpack? Sure, we know the answer to that question. A bag filled with pencils, pens, paper, and a binder. That is the usual answer, but a backpack to our clients’ children means so much more. It means that they are ready for school and will be prepared with some of the most critical items needed. A backpack is absolute preparedness and organization. It says “I am here, count me in!”

But what happens to our children who attend class totally unprepared? They feel embarrassed, out of place and totally left out. Without the correct tools to begin with, they are behind from the start. We need to encourage our children to succeed by giving them the right tools. Through Project Ready-to-Learn, children are provided with a backpack full of needed supplies according to their grade level. It is critical to provide our children with these essential needs so that they can succeed in life.

A backpack expresses and reflects the child’s personality. A supervisor who handed out backpacks during our program last year, told us how the little children came in with smiles on their little faces, excited to know they would be able to pick out their own personal backpack. These children took their time, examining all their choices before making the big decision. Once they made a decision, they walk out of the office, proud, happy, and ready for school!

How would you like to make a child feel excited and ready for school? You can be a part of supporting children’s education by stuffing a NEW backpack with school supplies. Remember that the children are our future – let’s help them make their futures bright by investing in them today.

If you are interested in filling a backpack for a child in grades Kindergarten thru 12th grade here are some guidelines and the needed contents:

Please mark the outside of the backpack with masking tape and label it K-3, 4th-8th, or HS for high school and (if appropriate) if the contents are intended for either a boy or a girl. Thank you!

School Supply Shopping List
Elementary School Age K-3

  1. Back pack (please, no Blue or Red due to gang affiliation)
  2. Pencils, Eraser & Pencil Sharpener
  3. 1 box of Colored markers
  4. 1 box of Colored pencils
  5. 1 box of Crayons
  6. Scissors
  7. Glue Sticks
  8. Ruler
  9. Pencil Box
  10. Dictionary (optional)
  11. Three Ring Binder
  12. Binder paper (wide ruled)
  13. 2 folders

Please mark the outside of the backpack with masking tape and label it K-3
Grades 4-8

  1. Back pack (please, no Blue or Red due to gang affiliation)
  2. Pencils and sharpener and eraser
  3. Pens (black, blue and 2 red)
  4. Highlighters (one yellow, one other color)
  5. 1 box of colored pencils
  6. Zipper pouch
  7. Spiral notebooks (3)
  8. Paperback dictionary and thesaurus (optional)
  9. Three Ring Binder
  10. Binder paper (college ruled)
  11. Simple business calculator
  12. 2 or 3 Pee Chee type folders
  13. 2 glue sticks
  14. Ruler

Please mark the outside of the backpack with masking tape and label it 4-8

High School

  1. Back pack (please, no Blue or Red due to gang affiliation)
  2. Pencils and sharpener (at least 10 pencils)
  3. Pens (-black, blue, and red- 5 each)
  4. 2 Highlighters (1 Yellow, 1 another color)
  5. 4 Spiral notebooks-college ruled
  6. Three Ring Binder
  7. 3 folders
  8. Binder paper (college ruled)
  9. Scientific calculator
  10. Eraser
  11. Math kit (compass, protractor etc.)
  12. index cards
  13. post-its

Please mark the outside of the backpack with masking tape and label it 9-12

Thank you for helping children get ready to learn! For more information please call (925) 521-5064.