Thanks to a relationship between Pass It Along and the NJ Devils over 500 children in Newark are now ready for the new school year!
All the backpacks were stuffed at the Prudential Center by the NJ Devils and Prudential Center employees. Kelly Bonventre, Director of Programs and Grant Development for Pass It Along said to the group of volunteers, “The impact goes beyond readying these kids for the first day of school, it’s readying them for the year.”
The first recipients were entire student body of John F. Kennedy School, a district wide middle-secondary special education school for those students’ ages 10-21 years old. Currently there are three programs at this school: Autistic, Multiple Disabilities with Moderate Cognitive Involvement and the Medically Fragile. On the first day of school, Thursday, September 3rd, Pass It Along was there to surprise the kids with the backpacks filled with the supplies needed for each student.
“Anything that anyone does for this population, for these children, it is always welcoming,” JFK Principal Glenda Johnson-Green said as Devils employees and Pass It Along staff interacted with the students.
The second group of kids was the approximate 300 students in grades 1-5 at South 17th Street. This school has approximately a 99% reduced or free lunch student population. These students received their backpacks on Thursday, September 9th, which were also filled with the supplies needed for each student.