Backpack Project gets some help from township Target
Along with nutritional foods, the Norwin Rotary Club's Backpack Project plans to begin sending students at Sheridan Terrace Elementary School home over the weekends with books.
The Norwin School District received a $500 grant from Target, which it plans to use to purchase 200 books to include with the students' weekend food supply.
This fall, the 25 Sheridan Terrace students receiving food through the Backpack Project are receiving a new book each time they take their food home, according to Tracy McNelly, Norwin's assistant superintendent of secondary education.
“Research shows having access to books in the home helps increase literacy among children,” McNelly said. “I thought if we could help by putting books into the backpacks, knowing these students may not be able to afford them on their own.”
Students who receive the books get to keep them, said McNelly, who also is a member of the Rotary.
The Norwin Rotary Club began its backpack project in 2010 by supplying enough food to last a weekend home with elementary students living in poverty. Students receive the backpacks of food every Friday during the school year.
The project requires $350 per student to supply enough food for the entire school year, according to Rotary president Brenda Kacvinsky.
In addition to the 25 students at Sheridan Terrace, the backpack project sends food home with 25 more students across the district's elementary schools.
Before receiving notification of the Target grant, McNelly said, Rotary members planned to begin fundraising to supply the books.
“Everything came together at once, unexpectedly,” McNelly said.
Target's donation came through the store's “Take Charge of Education” program, which dedicates 1 percent of all purchases made with the store's credit card to local schools, according to Terrie Klingensmith, a team leader at the North Huntingdon Target.
“Every time someone uses the card, it goes back to help a school,” Klingensmith said.
According to Target's corporate website, the stores have donated $354 million to educational programs since enacting the program in 1997.
Norwin purchased the books, based on the students' reading levels and ages, from First Book, which sells new books to schools at a discounted rate, McNelly said.
“We send two to three books home with each child per month,” she said. “We were able to use the grant to purchase enough books for the rest of the year for those students.”
Next fall, McNelly said, the Rotary hopes to provide books to all the students in the Backpack Project across the district.
Brad Pedersen is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8626, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.