Watch above: This is the second year Best Buy and its partners have organized Backpacks for Kids. Global’s Jacqueline Wilson reports.
SASKATOON – For many parents, back to school can be an expensive time of year. For students, not having the right supplies can make them feel insecure. This won’t be the case for 150 lucky kids at Saskatoon’s St. Mark Community School who received backpacks filled with a year’s worth of school supplies.
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“It’s awesome! The cost of school supplies is pretty high. For some of our families that’s not something that’s possible at this time. So to have access to some of this is pretty important,” said principal Owen Fortosky.
This is the second year Best Buy and its partners Staples, COBS Bread, Custom Courier and Bibbity Bobbity Boo have organized “Backpacks for Kids.”
Dawn Hueser, head of community involvement at Best Buy, wants to make sure that back to school is a fun time for everyone.
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“I noticed over the years that many times students didn’t have the basic supplies, so two years ago when we were trying to decide how we could help our partner this came to mind,” said Hueser.
The average backpack given to a student will have a store value of $220, which is a big help to families in need.
“St. Mark is filled with a lot of new Canadians who come to the county with nothing. So the expense of school supplies for our new immigrants or low-income families is very high,” said Hueser.
A Disney-themed party and lunch was held before the supplies were divvied up. The celebration included all 300 students at the school to make everyone feel special.
Brian Scherban, an employee at Best Buy, took the day off work and drove from Prince Albert to be a part of the celebrations.
“It actually means a lot. I grew up as an under privileged kid so to be able to give back to the community is really a big thing for me,” said Scherban.
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Students had a lot of fun getting new supplies, meeting Disney characters and playing games throughout the school.
“I’m going to have lots of fun with them. I’m going to save them for next year so we don’t have to buy anything for Grade 5,” says Valentina, who is now in Grade 4.
Back to school can be an anxious time for students, especially when they’re not prepared. This program makes sure that no child feels that way.
Organizers are hoping the expand the program to include more schools throughout Saskatoon in the upcoming years.