Archive for Thursday, August 15, 2002

Backpack bash benefits district kids

Multi-Service Center school supply program provides students with classroom needs

August 15, 2002

A shy smile came to Lauro Carrillo as he inspected his new blue backpack Monday at the De Soto Multi-Service Center.

Carrillo said he would put the backpack to good use when he enters the eighth grade next week at Lexington Trails Middle School.

"I'm glad to have it," he said. "I've never had one."

Carrillo and three friends were among the about 240 De Soto USD 232 students to receive backpacks and other school supplies Monday at the center, De Soto Multi-Service Center Coordinator Jodi Hitchcock said. Eligible students and their parents were sent invitations to come to the center Monday or Tuesday, she said.

Signs placed over stacks of school supply materials identified the day's major sponsors the De Soto Pizza Hut, Huhtamaki, De Soto Rotary Club and the metropolitan area charitable organization Project SOS.

Hitchcock said numerous other local businesses and individuals also contributed to the program. Immediately outside the center's office in a hallway of the De Soto Community Center, the Victory Place Church offered clothing from its community closet.

Students could pick up "slightly used" school supplies from a table as they left the Multi-Service Center. The table offered stacks of tablets, notebooks, binders and other school supplies that students left behind at Mill Valley High School with the closing of the school year.

Although new backpacks were still stacked around the center late Monday afternoon, Hitchcock said most had been given out during the busy day.

"We did a better job of getting to the right people this year," she said. "I had my own list, and the district put together their own."

The demand for the supplies reflected the difficult economic times, Hitchcock said.

"I've never seen so many kids from the east side," she said. "We are serving every school in the district."

Hitchcock estimated students could leave her office with as much as $50 in school supplies.

"That helps a lot," she said. "The families have been really grateful."

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