District Launches Project Backpack 2011

See an interview with Kimberly Stender about Project Backpack now airing on Amherst Media and also the PSA about Project Backpack.

Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools in collaboration with The Amherst Club, Interfaith Opportunities Network (ION), Amherst Lions Club, Amherst Rotary Club, DeMaio Orthodontics, WB Mason, Amherst Human Rights Commission, Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, Amherst College, UMass and State Representative Ellen Story are proud to announce Project Backpack 2011.

The Project Backpack 2011 initiative is designed to support and assist income-eligible families in the districts to acquire the necessary and grade-appropriate school supplies children need on the first day of school and academic year. The goal of the program is to provide 455 back packs for elementary students and 360 for middle and high school students. 

Under the direction of Superintendent of Schools, Maria Geryk and Director of Interventions & ELE, Dr. Marta Guevara, and in keeping with the Social Justice Commitment of the Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools, Project Backpack 2011 aspires toward equity of opportunity, inclusion, respect and community-building in and out of the classroom.

“Our goal is to help ease the financial burden the beginning of the school year can mean for families struggling financially” states Dr. Guevara.  “Project Backpack 2011 is made possible by the generosity of the entire community.  This program provides backpacks filled with appropriate, grade-level supplies to families who qualify for Free& Reduced Lunch.”

New backpacks and supplies will be accepted from June1-August 12.  Donations can be dropped off at the ARPS Central Offices, located in Amherst Regional Middle School at 170 Chestnut Street.   Back packs and supplies will be available for distribution to eligible families the week of August 29.  Families will be notified of the distribution schedule during the week of August 22.  Volunteers will be on hand to oversee the distribution process.

Maria Geryk, Superintendent of Schools adds, “We have once again partnered with groups in our community to make Project Backpack 2011 a tremendous success.  In 2010, through the generosity of individuals, businesses, civic organizations, and faith groups in the greater Amherst community, 198 backpacks with supplies were distributed. In addition, $800 was received in support of the project and those funds were used to purchase additional backpacks and supplies.  I am deeply grateful for the community’s outreach, involvement and support of this initiative.”

School Supplies List

Elementary school students: new/unused backpacks, assignment books, colored pencils, construction paper, crayons, drawing paper, English dictionary (word or picture), erasers, folders, glue sticks, markers, pencils (#2), pencil sharpeners, pens, rulers

MS and HS students: new/unused backpacks, assignment books, 3-ring binders, calculators (basic or graphing), English dictionary (word or picture), erasers, folders, graph paper, highlighters, index cards (3 x 5), combination locks, loose leaf paper, markers, notebooks, pencils (#2), pencil sharpeners, pens, rulers

Supplies Drop Off Locations

Edward Jones Financial Advisors 17 Pray St. 495 West St Suite #1
Lone Wolf Restaurant 63 Main Street
Sub & Pizza Restaurant 33 East Pleasant St
DeMaio Orthodontics 23 Pray St
Office of the Superintendent 170 Chestnut St 

Please contact Kimberly Stender, at stenderk@arps.org or 362-1825 with inquiries or if you would like to volunteer with assembly and distribution.

The mission of the Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools is to create a dynamic learning community where students and staff work together and where all students are supported and challenged to achieve their full potential in their intellectual, creative, social and civic endeavors.  With parent and community participation, staff and students strive to ensure a safe environment and to promote respect and appreciation for the diversity of individuals, cultures and learning styles.

Last updated August 02, 2011
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