Anne Arundel County Executive Laura Neuman is encouraging citizens to donate to the annual Back-to-School Program.
“As the number of students in need of meal and school supply assistance continues to grow in Anne Arundel County, initiatives like the Back-to-School Program become increasingly critical for our students,” said County Executive Neuman. “I encourage our citizens to take an active role in our children’s success by participating as donors.”
The Back-to-School Program matches donors (organizations, individuals, businesses, churches and groups) with children in need of school supplies. The donor is given the child(ren)’s name, grade, school and list of required school supplies. Last year, with the help of more than 900 donors, the Back-to-School Program gave backpacks and school supplies to 6,700 elementary school students. Additionally, 12 middle schools received $1,000 each.
This year marks the 24th year since the program’s inception and the 19th year that the Department of Social Services and Anne Arundel County Public Schools have teamed up to provide backpacks and school supplies to underprivileged elementary and middle school students. Over 7,200 students are in need of supplies for the upcoming academic year.
“With our current donors, we are usually able to provide most elementary school children with the supplies they need,” said Marcia Kennai, Director, Anne Arundel County Department of Social Services. “However, this year, the free and reduced lunch list for elementary students has increased by more than 1,000 students and that has us worried that we may fall short.”
“The fact that a child’s family cannot, for whatever reason, provide the full range of materials needed for school should in no way be a deterrent to that child excelling in the classroom,” Anne Arundel County Public Schools Superintendent George Arlotto said. “The Back-to-School Program and others like it are critical links to student success, and I urge everyone who can help in any way to do so. The future of our children and our county depends on it.”