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Columbus Junior League Provides Kids With Back-To-School Materials

Central Ohio children will be going back to class in about a month. And that means they'll need school supplies. The Junior League of Columbus gave away more than 2,500 backpacks filled with supplied to children in need. Forty of those children received their new materials at Fedderson Recreation Center.

Children from Capital Kids inspect their new backpacks and school supplies they'll get to use in a matter of weeks. This is the seventh year the Adopt-a-Backpack for Children Project, sponsored by the Junior League of Columbus, has helped kick off the school year for kids around the area.

"Pencils, pens, dictionary, everything an elementary school child would need to get a great start on the school year," Stillmand said.

Local Junior League President Laura Stillman described just a few of the 20 essential items stuffed in the backpacks. Stillman said a number of community organizations contact the Junior League needing help at the beginning of the new school year.

"We kind of go through a series of criteria with them to determine where those backpacks go. There are far more need in the Columbus community than 2,500 backpacks will meet," Stillman said.

Director of the Mayor's Office of Education, Tei Street, said most Columbus Public School children show up to the first day of class without the proper materials.

"If you look at Columbus Public Schools alone you know that 70 percent of their kids qualify for free and reduced price lunch which they're below the poverty level. So I would say there's a huge need in every school," Street said.

Since the start of the backpack project in 1999 more than 5,500 backpacks have been donated to students in need.