This article was written by WTOP’s news partner ARLnow.com and republished with permission.
It seems like summer break just started, but some local organizations are already pitching in to help at-risk students prepare for the upcoming school year.
Arlington-based Offender and Aid Restoration and Verizon Wireless retailer TCC are two of the organizations that are setting up drives for backpacks and other classroom necessities in Arlington.
TCC’s program, School Rocks Backpack Giveaway, first started in 2013. The program has donated 950,000 backpacks stocked with school supplies since its founding. TCC asks that on July 24 from 1 p.m-4 p.m. community members drop off backpacks and supplies at participating stores, including a store at 3141 Lee Highway
Offender Aid and Restoration, which works to improve the lives of the incarcerated population through educational programs, community service opportunities and reentry services into society, is also organizing a backpack drive.
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Until August 12, Project Backpack, sponsored by OAR, will collect school supplies for children and deliver them with a note of encouragement from their incarcerated parent.
“It is so crucial to maintain strong family bonds while a parent is incarcerated for both the child and the parent,” said OAR’s executive director. “Incarceration not only affects the person going through the system, but everyone closest to them as well.”
Anyone interested can also donate to the Project Backpack cause online. Community members may also drop off items physically or mail them to OAR’s Arlington office at 400 N. Uhle Street, Suite 704, Arlington, VA 22201.