It’s a yearly event, but it takes a weight off a lot of local families’ backs.
A West Hartford elementary school continues to help community members with their “Backpack Brigade.”
It’s one of the Morley School’s most memorable events.
A mile trek to town hall to make a special delivery.
“So we like raised money to buy backpacks and send many kids to school with them so they have the supplies and stuff,” said fourth-grader Shadiya Blackwood.
Elementary school students, staff, and their families collected about 370 backpacks this year for West Hartford Social Services’ Back to School Program.
“Some of them just went into their piggy banks and brought me cash straight form their piggy banks, some of them had lemonade stands, some of them went to their parents and asked for money,” said fifth-grade teacher Leeann Kluskiewicz.
“Every year it warms my heart to see the genuine joy and excitement these students have to bring backpacks in to help other students in West Hartford,” said Nancy Stockman, the West Hartford Food Pantry coordinator.
The bags will be distributed to students who need them come August.
“They start the school year off with a backpack and school supplies and it really gets them off on the right foot,” said Stockman.
While the program still needs more donations before the school year begins, Wednesday’s delivery makes a big difference.
“I really hope that they learn that everyone might need a hand sometimes. Everyone goes through hard times in their lives,” said Kluskiewicz.
And in return, the “Backpack Brigade” becomes a lesson in life for the students.
“I feel good about myself because I’m helping strangers I don’t know go to school,” said Blackwood.