Back to School Needs, By Supervisor Karen Mitchoff
Aug 29, 2016 12:10PM ● Published by Elena Hutslar
Supervisor Karen Mitchoff
Community Rallies to Support Students
By Karen Mitchoff
The heat of summer is still upon us, but for many District IV families the season is changing from the fun-filled days of summer to the exciting new adventures of back-to-school. The coming month will be filled with anticipation as students get assigned new teachers and embark on new schools and classrooms. For most, this is a joyous time of year, but for some members of our community, it can also be a time wrought with stress and anxiety.
School supplies and clothes can be a heavy financial burden and lead to difficult choices for local households. To lessen this worry, numerous public agencies and non-profits have risen to the occasion to provide assistance and supplies. One such organization, Volunteer &Emergency Services Team in Action (VESTIA), annually hosts Project Ready-to-Learn, which provides backpacks full of supplies to Contra Costa County students in Kindergarten thru 12th grade. VESTIA was created in partnership with the Contra Costa Employment & Human Services Department, and many of these backpacks will benefit our county’s foster youth. In 2015, VESTIA distributed over 1,200 backpacks, helping every student feel more prepared for the upcoming school year.
A similar effort occurs at the Monument Crisis Center in Concord, where last year they distributed 1,400 backpacks during a large community event in mid-August.
The Assistance League of Diablo Valley, another organization close to my heart, annually conducts Operation School Bell, a project aimed at providing new school clothes and uniforms to students. Since 1994, Operation School Bell has helped more than 50,000 schoolchildren. I am proud to say that staff in my office have continually participated in Operation School Bell and are looking forward to doing so again this year.
It’s inspiring to see local organizations meeting the needs of our community with such ingenuity, as even simple projects can have great impact.
I hope everyone enjoyed their summer and our District IV families begin the school year prepared and ready for the new opportunities ahead.