Enfield, CT—The annual backpack and school supply drive begins this week with a goal of collecting 650 backpacks for Enfield kids for the opening of school in September.
Educational Resources for Children (ERfC), will distribute the collected backpacks and school supplies on Tuesday, August 23rd from 10:00 am – 12:00 pm at St. Patrick’s Hall on Pearl Street, to students from K through grade 12. Backpack and supplies will be collected until August 19th.
Ryan Obedzinski, coordinator of the drive, said “Kids begin school ready to learn when they have a new backpack and school supplies, yet many Enfield families cannot afford to have basic supplies available. This is a challenge for many families, especially if they are struggling financially.”
According to statistics provided to the CT Department of Education, as of June 1st, 2016, 37% or 1,897 students enrolled in Enfield schools applied for free and reduced school lunches. In order to qualify for free and reduced school lunches, a typical family of four earns less than $31,525 per year.
The latest Backpack Index by Huntington Bank (2015) said the cost of a backpack with schools supplies average $649 for elementary; $941 for middle school; and $1,402 for high school students.
Obedzinski said the backpack drive is a great way for everyone to support learning in Enfield. Individuals can donate or coordinate a backpack drive with co-workers, friends, family, youth and church groups.
“Community support is key to the success of the drive. Knowing that you helped put a smile on a child’s face, as he puts on his new backpack, is truly priceless,” said Obedzinski.
To guide shoppers, a full donation and supply list is posted on the ERfC website at www.erfc.us. Monetary donations can also be made directly to ERfC at 119B Post Road, Enfield or on the website. Obedzinski said, If you can’t shop or just don’t like to shop—we will shop for you.”
All donations can be dropped at the following locations:
- ERfC, 119B Post Road, 8:30 am-5 pm, Monday through Friday. Evening drop-off is also available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 860-253-9935
- St. Patrick Church Hall, 64 Pearl St., 11 am-1 pm., Monday-Friday
- St. Patrick’s Rectory, 64 Pearl Street, 9 am-4 pm, Monday-Thursday
- North Thompsonville Fire Department, 439 Enfield St., 9 am-5 Monday-Friday.
- Enfield Food Shelf, 96 Alden Ave., 8 am-2:30 pm., Tuesday and Wednesday
ERfC, a community-based a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, has been providing out-of-school time activities since 1994 in Enfield. ERfC operates before-and after School-Age Centers at Henry Barnard, Enfield Street, Hazardville, Nathan Hale and JFK Middle School. Parkman, Crandall and Eli Whitney students are bused afterschool to a Center location. This year, ERfC will also operate a licensed morning program at Eli Whitney School.