Summer breeze is in the air! Nowhere else will you find greater excitement at that notion than in the faces of children eagerly awaiting that last school bell to ring them out. For many of us, however, this is a time to begin thinking about the upcoming school year and the fact that thousands of students in Broward County could return in the fall without proper supplies or clothing. These children very much wish they can look and feel just like their classmates, walking to class with crisp new uniforms, shoes, solid backpacks and grade appropriate school supplies.
For the last five years, the Children’s Services Council of Broward County (CSC) has led the Broward Back to School Community Extravaganza and challenged the public by issuing a grant to provide resources for children in need. Many corporate, government, non-profit and individual partners have met the challenge with financial support and dedication of in-kind resources. Just $35 outfits a child with everything needed to start the school year on an equal footing and allow the child to focus on the potential for social and academic success throughout the school-year.
As in the past, the CSC has once again issued a challenge grant of $40,000 to encourage the community to join forces and help provide back-to-school-supplies for students identified by the School Board’s social workers and other community partners as being in dire economic need. CSC staff works with the School Board of Broward County, HandsOn Broward, the Broward Education Foundation, In Jacob’s Shoes, Running with Sole, Neighbors 4 Neighbors, the Fort Lauderdale Strikers, the Henri Crocket Foundation and many others to secure the necessary resources and assist in the distribution of backpacks, school uniforms and supplies at a number of events before the start of school. Only those previously identified by school social workers and in possession of an invitation receive supplies at these events.
This summer we anticipate serving over 5,700 students in need. It is only through the generous support of wholesale vendors and donors who have been consistent supporters of the campaign that costs are kept to a minimum. That is why $35 is enough to outfit each student.
Among the many community partners it is always heartwarming to see Broward County students themselves coordinate shoe drives at over 30 schools throughout the county during the final months of the current school year. Like last year, with the diligent hard work of these young supporters as well as the support of all the other partners, we hope to have over 3,000 new and/or refurbished pairs of shoes in time for the August distribution events.
Individual contributions are an integral part of the success of the Back to School Extravaganza. Supporting these efforts will help students in need start the school year off right!
To contribute to the campaign, please make check payable to the Community Foundation of Broward, Back to School Extravaganza on the Memo Line and mail to CSC Broward, 6600 West Commercial Blvd., Lauderhill, FL 33319. To contribute via credit card, please go to www.neighbors4neighbors.org
Your support will ensure that every student starts school off with the confidence, pride and attitude that will help make the 2016/2017 school year the best one yet!
For more information on the Back to School Community Extravaganza or any other CSC supported events or funded programs, please visit www.cscbroward.org or call 954-377-1000.