PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP, OH – Owens Community College’s Alumni Association in collaboration with Books-A-Million, two Walt Churchill’s Market locations, three Great Lakes Credit Union branches and five Genoa Bank branches recently brightened many children’s lives through a unique community service endeavor titled “Backpack to the Future”. Over 410 backpacks and more than 8,700 school supply items collected throughout the summer months were donated to 22 area elementary schools.
Local schools receiving donations included Lake Local Schools’ Walbridge Elementary School, Northview Primary School in Findlay and Toledo Public Schools’ Birmingham Elementary School, Reynolds Elementary School and Glenwood Elementary School. Additionally, elementary school children through the Community Learning Center of Wood County, serving sites at Glenwood Elementary School (Rossford), Lark Elementary School (Northwood), Grand Rapids Elementary School (Otsego), Powell Elementary School (North Baltimore), Luckey Elementary School (Eastwood), Kenwood Elementary School (Bowling Green), Brunner Elementary School (Genoa), Woodmore Elementary School (Woodmore), Crim Elementary School (Bowling Green), Olney Elementary School (Northwood) and Conneaut Elementary School (Bowling Green), received school supplies from Owens and partnering organizations.
“Owens Community College’s ‘Backpack to the Future’ supply drive was once again a huge success thanks to the support of area residents and local businesses,” said Kaye Koevenig, Owens Alumni Association Community Service Chair. “Our goal is to help students succeed. All children should have the opportunity to begin their school year with new educational resources and Owens Community College is proud to play a small role in making sure that happens.”
Over the past three months, “Backpack to the Future” accepted gently-used or new backpacks and new school supplies from area residents to assist disadvantaged school children throughout Northwest Ohio. In addition to backpacks, individuals donated crayons, markers, bottles of glue, glue sticks, colored pencils, pencils, pink erasers, school boxes, pocket folders, marbled covered composition books and Kleenex tissues.
“These donated backpacks and school supplies are wonderful and will go directly into the classroom to benefit students and teachers,” said Dolores Swineford, Principal of Walbridge Elementary School. “I want to thank Owens Community College for this generous donation and their help and support in the student learning process.”
Warren Fauver, Director of the Community Learning Centers of the Wood County Educational Service Center added, “Owens Community College’s continued advocacy and support of Wood County children through the backpack and school supply program is commendable. They are making a difference by providing educational materials for those students with limited resources, which helps build their excitement about learning.”
“I know what it’s like to go without and it warms my heart to see people who care so much about students,” said Elizabeth Bethany, Principal of Reynolds Elementary School. “These supplies make a big difference in the children’s self esteem. It’s a positive start for them.”
In addition to the donated supplies, the program collected over $1,130 from community members. The charitable donations go toward the purchase of even more school supplies.
“School is fun,” said five-year-old Nate Ryan, a kindergartener at Northview Primary School, during the donation ceremony. “My favorite color is orange and I like to put folders and my lunch box in my Batman backpack.”
Jordan Rosales, a proud five-year-old kindergartener from Rossford’s Eagle Point Elementary School added, “I have a pink princess on my backpack and I like school.”
The Owens Alumni Association established “Backpack to the Future” supply drive in 2004 as a way to provide educational outreach to the surrounding communities. To date, the program has given over 1,930 backpacks and more than 34,410 school supplies to benefit disadvantaged children throughout Northwest Ohio. Since opening its doors in 1965, Owens has provided higher education to more than 250,000 students. Owens’ Alumni Association is committed to the personal and professional success of alumni and students through the ongoing development of value-added initiatives.
Owens Community College is a fully accredited two-year, state-assisted institution of higher education that has served Northwest Ohio since 1965. With a commitment to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability, the College serves the diverse academic needs of credit and non-credit students on the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses. Owens offers associate degrees that transfer to baccalaureate degrees in the Arts and Sciences and over 130 technical program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health Sciences, Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Skilled Trades, and Engineering and Transportation Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor’s degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university. For more information, visit www.owens.edu.