FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 19, 2018
SEATTLE, WASH. – Bremerton School District got hundreds of students off to a successful start to the school year during the fourth year of the Bremerton Backpack Brigade, where community members come together to provide resources to families in need.
According to a study by Deloitte, parents are spending more than $500 each year on back to school purchases for their children. That comes in the form of school supplies, new clothing, shoes, and more.
More than half of the students in Bremerton School District are on free and reduced lunch. For families who are struggling to make ends meet, the additional expense of school supplies can be burdensome.
“We have a great need in this community and within our district,” said Bremerton School District Superintendent Aaron Leavell. “Roughly 62 percent of our students live at or below the poverty line in Washington State, and students and families depend on support from the district to get by.”
Over the summer, local organizations came together to support more than 750 students in Bremerton by providing new backpacks, school supplies, books, clothing, and shoes for students in need.
Inspirus Credit Union contributed more than 7,000 individual school supplies to support the event.
“At Inspirus, we believe in the power of education, and we believe that by providing students with the essential supplies they need, we can get them off to a successful start to the new school year,” said Inspirus Credit Union President Scott Adkins. “By partnering with the Bremerton community, we’re able to make a larger impact in the district together.”
Donations of clothing, shoes, and books were also made available to students at the event, thanks to supporters like United Way of Kitsap County and the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties.
“It’s been great to watch our community come together in support of our students,” said Leavell. “It really makes the kids feel like they’re important and that people believe in them.”
More than 750 families attended the fourth annual community back-to-school event with games, school bus tours, and clothing and backpack giveaways.
“We look forward to many, many more years of this and we know we can’t do it alone,” said Leavell. “Everyone who helped with this event from donating school supplies, to stuffing the backpacks, to our volunteers are critically important to the success of this event, we couldn’t do it without them.”
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