Operation Backpack Helps 1000 Wilkinsburg Kids

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More than 1,000 Wilkinsburg School District students received backpacks and educational supplies on their first day of school as part of Operation Backpack. Every kindergarten through sixth-grade student at Turner, Kelly and Johnston elementary schools received backpacks donated by the Covenant Church of Pittsburgh, Geno Levi Spirit of Style Salon, Blue Knights, and Michelin Tires. 

“We are trying to help parents within our district and ease the financial cost tied with back to school necessities,” said Archie D. Perrin, Jr., Superintendent of the Wilkinsburg School District. “Many of our parents may need assistance during this economic slowdown and it is our responsibility to make sure the lack of school supplies is not a reason for our students not to attend school,” he added.

Denise Graves, a pastor and worship leader with the Covenant Church of Pittsburgh, recognizes how quickly school supplies can add up and cut deeply into household budgets. 

“Our philosophy is literally to give back to our community and what better way than to invest in the development of a child’s education,” said Graves.

  KDKA newscaster Brenda Waters also joined in Operation Backpack, passing out school supplies and keeping volunteers and students motivated.

 “This is just wonderful, the students are thrilled to be in school and we’re just adding to their momentum by helping to distribute the tools they need to succeed; this is such positive work everyone is doing,” said Waters. 

 School supplies have steadily increased in cost throughout the years, and many parents have more than one child in school, easily slicing through their budgets. The Wilkinsburg School District offers these tips for parents:

* Get a list going. Find out what you need to purchase and stick with it, don’t buy more.

* Shop at home first. Look for pencils, pens, rulers, and paper. Get organized and store left over items for the following year.

* Shop generic verses name brand. A standard notebook is much less expensive than a brand style item like Hanna Montana, Barbie, or other brand item.

* Shop a week later. Not only do you miss the crowds, but you can catch sale items.

* Shop Stocking Stuffers. During Christmas, you can get clearance priced items and save them.

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