A Glenn County Office of Education program went out to Stuff the Bus with school supplies for children in need.
Shoppers at the local Walmart were handed lists of what’s needed such as paper, pens, notebooks and more to help hundreds of Glenn County students get ready for the upcoming school year.
Robin Smith, foster youth and McKinney-Vento coordinator for the office of education, said during the campaign – which took place Thursday through Sunday – they saw another successful year and were able to nearly fill the bus with school supplies and collected $1,000 in cash donations – which will be used to buy needed school supplies that they may not have enough of for backpack distributions.
“Every year, I’m pretty much in awe of the generosity throughout the community and how well this event is supported,” Smith said.
The Stuff the Bus campaign began through the office of education’s Project HELP program in order to help Glenn County children who are homeless, in foster care, living in hotels or motels, staying in temporary shelters or with extended family get ready for school, she said. Many youths are also living in multiple-family households.
Smith said there are many families who are experiencing economic hardship and school supplies will be given to those in need.
Smith said it’s expected that they will give out around a total of 500 backpacks in Willows, Orland and Hamilton City during their backpack distributions.
Willows had their backpack distribution on Tuesday, Aug. 6.
Hamilton City’s distribution is set for today (Wednesday, Aug. 7) from 10 a.m.-noon at Hamilton Elementary School, 277 Capay Ave.
The backpack distribution in Orland is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 8, from 10 a.m.-noon at the office of education, 131 E Walker St.
The distribution is available to all Glenn County students in need in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Parents are required to have their child with them and will fill out some paperwork while the children line up for a backpack as well as clothes from the Little Things Closet.
The nonprofit hosted drives to collect clothing and hygiene items to give out during the backpack distribution events.
Some of the supplies and backpacks are also set aside for those in need in smaller districts such as Princeton and Elk Creek, Smith said. They also try to set aside some supplies for students in need who may come into the district in the middle of the school year.
Smith said the program helps children with their self esteem and helps them succeed by giving them the supplies they need.
“I think that every year when I’m giving out those backpacks, they’re starting the school year off in a positive way and I think that’s what it takes to be excited about learning,” she said. “... I wish (people) could all see the kids’ faces (when they get a new backpack) and what it means to them.”