Suffolk Public School’s Project Backpack is seeking donations from the community to provide back-to-school backpacks and school supplies for 500 elementary students participating in the new LEAP program.
Learning & Enrichment for Academic Progress – or LEAP – is a full-day summer program for selected K-5 students from 12 elementary schools city-wide and rising kindergarten students without preschool experience. Based at Mack Benn, Jr. Elementary School, students focus on academic remediation in the morning, and participate in a wide variety of enrichment opportunities in the afternoon.
Project Backpack was initiated with an unsolicited, but greatly appreciated $847 donation by the Suffolk Women of the Moose, Chapter 1315 and Loyal Order of the Moose, Lodge 141.
(Pictured: Rebecca Jenkins of the Women of the Moose presents donation check and donated school supplies at its July 7, 2015 meeting to Bethanne Bradshaw of Suffolk Public Schools.)
Other individuals and organizations interested in supporting Project Backpack can contact Bethanne Bradshaw, public information & community relations officer, by email at email@example.com or by phone at (757) 925-6752. The Moose donation will need to be matched to purchase 500 backpacks, and additional funds will be needed to purchase any school supplies. The fundraising goal is $2,000 total – which translates to $4 a student.
The LEAP program has expanded the school division’s traditional elementary summer school – changing it from a half-day to a full-day program and adding two additional weeks. The schedule change has increased attendance, and expects to reduce summer learning loss, improve academic performance, increase wellness awareness, and enhance family engagement.
LEAP started June 22 and will continue through July 30. The expanded summer school is supported by such financial partners as United Way of South Hampton Roads (United for Children), Obici Healthcare Foundation, Early Childhood Development Commission of Suffolk, Birdsong Foundation, and Suffolk Education Foundation.
Health and wellness partners include Hampton Roads Community Health Center (Healthy Smiles), Western Tidewater Community Services Board, and Suffolk YMCA. Program provider partners include Jefferson Lab, Suffolk Public Library, Suffolk Center for the Cultural Arts, Virginia Cooperative Extension Service, Suffolk Parks & Recreation, Suffolk Sheriff’s Office, The UP Center, Tiger Martial Arts, and more. Volunteer and support partners include Suffolk Business Women’s Club, Farmers Bank, Taylor Orthodontics, Old Dominion University’s Student Virginia Education Association, and the U.S. Coast Guard.
For more information on the LEAP program or Project Backpack, please contact Bethanne Bradshaw, public information & community relations officer, at (757) 925-6752 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org