Both a child's performance in school and self-esteem can impact their entire life, as well as the community in which they grow up. Help make going back to school a positive experience by purchasing and stocking a backpack for a child. Not only are you eliminating a challenge for a low-income family, you are enabling a young student to start the school year on a more level playing field.

  1. Select a family in your neighborhood or workplace who is in financial need and has school-aged children. Or call a local elementary school, soup kitchen, or church to find a family.
  2. Get your friends, co-workers, and family members involved so you can buy in bulk. It's more cost-effective, and more kids can benefit.
  3. Go to the website of the child's school to see if a list of supplies for each grade level is posted.
  4. If nothing is listed on the school's website, here are some items you could include:
  • One school backpack
  • Six #2 pencils
  • Six medium ballpoint pens
  • One package of colored pencils
  • One package of markers
  • One barrel pencil sharpener
  • One pencil box or pencil bag
  • Two-pocket paper folders
  • Two wide-ruled spiral notebooks
  • One package of wide-ruled notebook paper
  • One 12-inch ruler
  • Calculator
5. Select backpacks and school supplies that are fun and gender specific.

6. Deliver the backpacks with a smile.


  • 39% of the nation's children, 28 million children, are from low-income families—the majority of which head to school each fall.
  • Children need school supplies to complete schoolwork and homework.
  • Required school supplies cost between $20 and $100, depending on the grade level. This expense can be a financial burden for low-income families, especially those with more than one child.
  • As they grow, children become increasingly sensitive to the evaluations of their peers. A social stigma occurs when children are different; and children are aware that they are different if they don't have new school supplies and the other children do.
  • Having school supplies that all the other kid’s have impacts a child's self-esteem positively. Self-esteem impacts a child's success in school.
  • Children who feel good about themselves and their abilities are much more likely to do well in school...and in life.