The start of the school year is exciting for many students. New faces, new teachers, and new school supplies. While for many, this is a given, it’s important to recognize not everyone has that privilege.
There are many initiatives in Kane County that provide resources to help all students show up on the first day of school on a level playing field. The ROE is proud to donate/sponsor programs such as CASA Kane County, Cities in Schools, and Project Backpack.
CASA advocates and serves Children who are neglected and abused. The ROE was able to provide donations of school supplies that will go directly to students with unstable home lives. These donations will help students who would not otherwise have these items be able to learn at the same level as their peers.
Cities in School, an Aurora based nonprofit strives to help disadvantaged children by providing them the materials they need to be successful in the classroom. In Early August, Cities in Schools hosted a backpack drive for where families in need could pick up school supplies, free of charge.
Project Backpack, an initiative led by Elgin Community College, aims to help students in need by providing them with the resources they need to succeed in school. Since 2010, this initiative has helped over 17,000 students.
Deb Dempsey, McKinney-Vento liaison for the Kane County Regional Office of Education, has seen firsthand how this program has helped the local community in Kane County. From seeing the program start up to where it is now, she has been amazed.
“Before Project Backpack I would imagine a child on the first day of school walking into their classroom empty handed, no backpack, pencils etc. … Now I imagine a child with a full backpack, excited and ready to learn with all the tools they need to have a great first day and new school year!” Dempsey said.
Regional Superintendent Patricia Dal Santo is another advocate who strongly believes in helping create more equity in school districts to ensure a positive learning environment for all in the county.
“While it may seem small, a simple act such as donating a backpack full of school supplies can be the one thing that pushes a child toward a love of school, giving them the encouragement they need to have continued academic success throughout their academic career,” Dal Santo said. “For our office to be a small part of that is quite humbling.”
- For more information on CASA Kane County or to find out where you can donate, visit casakanecounty.org
- For more information on Cities in Schools or to find out where you can donate, visit citiesinschools.org
- For more information on Project Backpack or to find out where you can donate, visit project-backpack.org
Want to learn more? Visit the Kane County Regional Office of Education’s website. To stay updated, subscribe to the bi-weekly newsletter from the ROE and follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube.
SOURCE: Kane County Regional Office of Education news release by Molly McQueeny. You can reach the Kane County Regional Office of Education at 630-232-5955 or firstname.lastname@example.org.