COLUMBUS (WCMH) — The Junior League of Columbus is making it their mission to make sure kids have what they need on the first day of school.
They started a backpack drive 20 years ago. During that first year, they gave away 50 backpacks. Now, they’re giving away thousands.
“We really focus on k-5 strong focus on 3rd grader specifically because we know there’s a really high percentage of third graders who sadly don’t make it to 4th grade in the community,” said Marisa Nye with the Junior League of Columbus.
This year, the group has a goal of stuffing 3,000 backpacks.
“If they’re supply-ready and they have all the tools they need they’re ready to learn,” said Nye.
Some children can’t afford the basics, like notebooks, pencils, pens, folders, glue, scissors and paper. That’s why they don’t feel like they fit in and are unprepared to learn.
Being prepared on the first day gives them the confidence and self-esteem they will need to succeed in the classroom.
Workers at Junior League say while parents have a lot of choices to make, getting school supplies shouldn’t be a tough one.
“A grandmother had come, she was very overjoyed by receiving the backpack because she was specifically deciding giving her grandchildren a backpack or food that week,” said Nye.