Earlier this month, People to People began distributing new backpacks filled with grade-appropriates school supplies to children from low-income families living in Rockland County through its Back to School with Dignity program. “By the time school starts this September, People to People will have distributed more than 2,000 backpacks stuffed with school supplies to Rockland children,” said Diane Serratore, People to People Executive Director.
“Back to School with Dignity is a vital program,” said Serratore, “because it provides at-risk kids with the tools they need to start school successfully.” Since 1994, People to People’s Back to School with Dignity program has sent thousands of Rockland children back to school with the tools they need to succeed. Over the years, the number of children benefiting from Back to School with Dignity has grown from 35 in 1994 to nearly 2,000 in 2014. Back to School with Dignity school supplies are distributed to the children of People to People clients, struggling parents who have met income eligibility requirements and come to the People to People Food Pantry monthly for food.
“People to People cannot implement Back to School with Dignity without community and corporate support,” Serratore said. This year’s program has been supported by financial contributions from Orange and Rockland Utilities, Flaregas Corporation, Clarkstown Retired Teachers and countless individuals. Companies including KPMG in Montvale, NJ, and Morgan Stanley in Pearl River, NY, donated 75 backpacks filled with school supplies for high school students.
In addition, organizations including Pfizer and the Nyack Seniors Club collected school supplies for the Back to School with Dignity program.
In addition to providing the children of its clients with backpacks filled with school supplies, People to People provides these items to other organizations and agencies throughout the county including the Department of Social Services, Nyack Center, Family Resource Centers at Rockland’s public schools and more. “We still need more binders, pocket folders, loose leaf paper and three-subject notebooks,” Serratore said. “More and more agencies that work with kids from low-income families are calling People to People for help,” she said. “We certainly want to help all those that need it but we’ll need more supplies.”
Donations of school supplies can be dropped off at People to People’s offices at 121 West Nyack Road in Nanuet on Monday through Wednesday from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., on Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and on Friday from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. until August 30. Financial contributions can be made by visiting the People to People website at www.peopletopeopleinc.org or call Diane Serratore are 845-623-4900, ext. 207.