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NH Education Department Holds Backpack Drive for Students In Need

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Thursday, July 21, 2022   

The New Hampshire Department of Education is collecting new backpacks for students whose families may need some help this year getting those back-to-school essentials.

It is the seventh year the Department has run a school backpack drive.

Diana Fenton, chief of the New Hampshire Department of Education Office of Governance, who oversees the program, said in the current economic climate, some families are likely to need assistance who have not in the past.

She noted backpacks collected are sent to school nurses, who then distribute them to students in need.

"We didn't want anyone to have to stand in line or justify need or fill out a form or be made to feel bad about their circumstances," Fenton explained. "If you need a new backpack, if you need a little extra help this year, contact the Department of Education, or contact your school nurse."

According to the latest Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey, more than 35% of Granite Staters reported having trouble paying for usual household expenses, up from just over a quarter at the beginning of the year.

Fenton pointed out school nurses have a unique knowledge of what their student body is facing.

"Some of the school nurses, they will keep them throughout the year because kids wear through them," Fenton observed. "They will kind of reinitiate handing out backpacks in January when kids come back to school after the holidays."

The drive will run through August 12, and it is not the only opportunity to help New Hampshire kids with back-to-school supplies.

The Boys and Girls Club of Central New Hampshire, for instance, is partnering with other groups for a Pack a Pack campaign, where donors are encouraged to give a backpack containing school supplies such as pencils, colored pencils, erasers, sharpeners, student scissors, glue sticks, notebooks, rulers, pens and folders.


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