City employees donate school supplies to students

City employees donate school supplies to students

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With summer coming to a close and students preparing to return to school, parents are busy buying school supplies. The items can add up and become expensive, especially if a parent has more than one child.

However, on Thursday many Austin city employees came together to donate school supplies to children that could not afford them.

The effort was part of the city's Support Our Schools campaign.

It was almost like Christmas in August for hundreds of Austin ISD students. Only instead of a new bike or the latest video game they received a backpack full of supplies.

City employees donate the items and help put together 550 backpacks full of school supplies for students receiving free and reduced priced lunches.

"A lot of fun, this is the fun part of the job," said Bert Lumbreras "You know, we do a lot of difficult things and a lot of challenging projects throughout the year but this is where the rubber meets the road. If we're not able to give back to the community, if we're not able to see the big smiles on the kid's faces when they see that backpack for the first time then we're obviously not doing our job."

Many of the children were extremely happy to receive the supplies like Kevin Barcelas.

"We got backpacks," said Barcelas. "See, it's really heavy and it has all my school supplies so I can be successful in school!."

Kevin knows exactly how important this is to him and his family.

"Real cool! Because I don't think nobody does that!"

Gloria Lugo said school supplies typically cost her about $40 but she only has one child.

"I have only one and it's expensive," Lugo said. "But some of the parents in Houston Elementary, they have three or four kids, it's very, very expensive."

Lugo said she gets a kick out of it too.

"It's a lot of happiness to see the kids," she said. "You know, them excited, getting their backpacks. It is a big happiness for me, especially for the little ones."

Support Our Schools is also looking for mentors and tutors.

Research from the National Association of Partners in Education shows mentored or tutored students are 46% less likely to get into drugs and 59% improve their grades.

 

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