They’ve got the students’ backs

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In 2010, the Stanton Community Foundation adopted the Back-to-School Backpack Program as part of its vision to help local students; that program continues today.

Currently, the Stanton Community Foundation is in the process of the 2012 Backpack Program Drive asking the community to participate in sponsorships in the following amounts:

• Platinum Sponsorship:  $2,000

• Gold Sponsorship:  $1,000

• Silver Sponsorship:  $500

• Bronze Sponsorship:  $250

In 2010, the Stanton Community Foundation adopted the Back-to-School Backpack Program as part of its vision to help local students; that program continues today.

Currently, the Stanton Community Foundation is in the process of the 2012 Backpack Program Drive asking the community to participate in sponsorships in the following amounts:

• Platinum Sponsorship:  $2,000

• Gold Sponsorship:  $1,000

• Silver Sponsorship:  $500

• Bronze Sponsorship:  $250

How it got started was that board of directors members Elizabeth Ash and Pam Schoonover led the way with the idea to sponsor backpacks for students complete with school supplies at the cost of $10 each and with that in mind, they went out to the community leaders, contacting the Stanton Lions Club, the Kiwanis, Business Alliance of Stanton, the Stanton Collaborative, city of Stanton departments, the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and the Women’s Division.

In 2010, 112 backpacks were given to elementary schools in Stanton as well as St. Polycarp, which serves K-8, and Dale Junior High School.

The next year, the foundation provided 154 backpacks, helping, among others, 15-year-old Megan Walker.

“It feels great,” Walker said, who later offered to help the foundation with the backpack program.

Foundation officials said that with the assistance of Walker and many others in the community, more than 150 K-8 students from seven local schools received backpacks complete with school supplies.

The foundation’s goal is to promote knowledge and awareness of the backpack program and to develop a network of community leaders, civic and corporate, to sponsor students for basic school supplies.

To accomplish its goals and identify, monitor and update the progress of students who receive the backpacks during the school year, the foundation is working with school principals, administrators and staff from Magnolia School District, Garden Grove Unified School District, Anaheim City School District, Savanna School District and Anaheim Union High School District.

The objective of the foundation is that by January of 2015, the Stanton Community Foundation will have a sustainable sponsorship of annual contributors through its platinum, silver, gold and bronze sponsors from the community and that Stanton students will always have the basic school supplies to stay focused and grounded in their academics, foundation organizers said.

Foundation members said that economic conditions stab at basic needs such as food. To illustrate their point they cited the December 2011 Mayor’s Annual Report on Hunger and Homelessness, saying that joblessness was the main cause of hunger.

”Through the efforts of the foundation, the youth of Stanton have shown remarkable and measurable progress in the pursuit of their educational and life goals and families are healthier and stronger than they have ever been,” said Alan Trudell, spokesman for the Garden Grove Unified School District.

Robert Pyles Elementary School Principal Greg Merwin wrote the foundation that “Students receiving backpacks last year demonstrated more self-confidence, improved attendance, improved behavior in class and the understanding of the importance of trying their best.” 

For information on how to become a sponsor, call 714-890-4270 or visit www.stantoncommunityfoundation.com.