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Stuff the Backpack initiative aims to give backpacks, school supplies to every student in CCS

COLUMBUS, OH (WCMH) - Columbus City Schools has partnered with NBC4 to make sure students have the supplies they need when they start the school year.

The summer-long Stuff the Backpack campaign aims to give a backpack and school supplies to every student in the Columbus City School District — a whopping 52,000 backpacks stuffed with supplies.

While pens, pencils, scissors and paper may be simple school supplies, some families cannot afford to purchase them. The campaign will make sure all students start the school year with the supplies they need, instead of some students having the resources and others missing out.

"This is very important and this is an all-hands-in effort,” Alesia Gillson, chief academic officer at Columbus City Schools, said. “Every student will have their supplies based on this effort.

Holly Eichman, a kindergarten teacher at Winterset Elementary School, sees firsthand how important basic school supplies are on a daily basis and what happens when students don’t have access to them.

“When they come unprepared through no fault of their own, it has a big impact on them,” Eichman said. “It can sort of make or break, sometimes, how they feel about school and how they feel about being here and doing work and having support.

Often, teachers need to purchase the supplies with their own money just so their students can complete their schoolwork. By giving school supplies to every student, the campaign will help take some of that added pressure off the teachers.

"There would be no hurrying to the store to try to figure out what I need to get so that I have what we need in the classroom,” Eichman said. “It would be incredible."

Donated supplies are a small gesture that will make a big impact for students.

“We just want to thank all of our partners and everyone that contributes to this effort,” Gillison said. “This will make a difference in all of our students’ lives.”

 Colored pencils, markers, highlighters, calculators, rulers, tissues and glue are just a few of the items being collected.

The Stuff the Backpack Campaign starts June 19 and will continue throughout the summer. Colored pencils, markers, highlighters, calculators, rulers, tissue and glue are among the most-needed items. Click or tap here for a full list of supplies the drive is accepting.

If you would like to donate, NBC4 will host a donation drive to collect new backpacks and school supplies at the NBC4 station at 3165 Olentangy River Road on Aug. 4. You can also donate online anytime or drop off donations at NBC4 and any PrimaryOne Health or CME Federal Credit Union location. To learn more, click or tap here.


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