“See you tomorrow! I’ll call you about the homework. Hey, toss me my backpack!” Students today rely on their backpacks as portable sources of food, books, pens, paper, and comfort. The ubiquitous backpack is a symbol of school and the independence we expect of students as they make their way through a school day. But what if a student didn’t have a backpack? It is hard to imagine, but that is the reality for many low-income children associated with Contra Costa Employment & Human Services Department (EHSD) – our social service network. These children experience a much higher level of instability in their homes and school lives. With the proper tools, including a well –equipped backpack, they can be better prepared to learn and get the most from their daily experience.
Project Ready-to-Learn (PRTL) is our annual school backpack giveaway for low-income children of EHSD clients. Thanks to groups like East Bay Times, private donors, and community-minded employees of companies like Schneider Electric (above) VESTIA is able to distribute 1,300 new backpacks filled with supplies to school children across Contra Costa County through PRTL.
A backpack may not seem like much, but to the child that receives that needed backpack, it can mean the world. He or she can now attend school with a new backpack, just like everyone else. He will have paper when the teacher says to get the paper out. She will be able to do the world map assignment in color, because she has markers in her backpack. The honors student will be able to take Trig because a graphing calculator is available. The right tools and supplies in a lowly backpack can open doors to the future that is not imaginable.
THANK YOU to all of our wonderful donors for tossing backpacks and school supplies our way and helping school children get ready to learn!