BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Back to school is right around the corner, which means students are getting all the supplies they need for the school year. But for some, help is needed and several organizations, including 23ABC, held an event to support those families.
School supplies, backpacks, and food are among those back-to-school necessities. And all of that was available to children at the Kern County Museum just ahead of the school year.
“When we saw a line around the block they knew there was a need. So that’s when the employees got together and started doing it,” explained Kristen Sakamoto, the program manager for Kern County Child Support Services.
It was a community event that was kicked off 13 years ago by the Kern County Child Support Services and others.
Sakamoto expressed the importance of having a variety of resources for students all across Kern County with roughly 90 local organizations coming together to ensure that families are aware of what is available to them here at home.
“I think that what’s really important to know is that this event, while it's about a backpack and it's about resources, it's really about the community supporting each other. So we like to think that you pick up the backpack when you enter, you get to walk around, you get to fill it up. So you not only start the school year with a backpack but with an all-new set of things.”
Sakamoto adds that each year kids are able to fill up their free backpacks with coloring books, pencils, and food, among other supplies.
Elizabeth Chaves, the director of Kern County Child Support Services says thanks to the Ready-Set Back-2-School event they’ve been able to give more than 39,000 backpacks to children grades K through 12. And this time around they are anticipating that the number will grow.
“We know that right now inflation is something that is affecting every family so we want every child to start the school year with a new backpack.”
And those children were excited
Chavez told 23ABC that over the past 13 years they’ve received feedback from the kids adding that there is nothing like seeing their eyes light up.
“The smiles that the kids have when they get to pick their backpack, the smile of when they leave, the smile of the parents saying thank you because they received something that will help them.”
If you’d like to make donations to support the children in our community who are heading back to school you can visit the Kern County Child Support Services website.