COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The first day of the 2023-24 school year for Columbus City Schools is Wednesday. To get the kids prepared for the year, the district held its Back to School Resource Fair which also was the venue for NBC4’s Stuff the Backpack drive.

Our drive sends students home with a brand new backpack and some basic supplies needed to start the school year. These include pencils, pens, pencil pouches, crayons, erasers, glue sticks, and a journal.

“The thousands of Columbus City School students that are here, they’re our future,” said Stephanie Lorenz, the director of community relations at CAS. “They could potentially be our next scientists.”

For over six years, NBC4 with the help of its sponsors and the community has distributed more than 200,000 backpacks and supplies to Columbus area students.

“We help get all the backpacks stuffed and then we’re out here distributing them to the kids of the community,” said Conner Christopher, the logistics accounts receivable manager for EASE.

Families were able to get information about numerous resources like Drivers Ed, music programs, and help with healthcare finances. CCS is just one of 16 different school districts in three counties that are benefiting from Stuff the Backpack in 2023.