Nonprofit gives backpacks filled with school supplies to Nyssa students

NYSSA – Children and their families walked into their classrooms with backpacks filled with school supplies Thursday, Aug. 18, at Nyssa Elementary School’s back-to-school night.

The backpacks, donated by the nonprofit Kids In Need Foundation, were filled with notebooks, folders, pencils, markers and crayons.

Principal Shane Pratt said he and his secretary applied for the grant from the Minnesota nonprofit that works with students and teachers from under-resourced schools nationwide. Pratt said when he got to school Monday, Aug. 14, they noticed a pallet of boxes with the backpacks and supplies.

Pratt said he was surprised to discover backpacks for every student.

Pratt said the students’ eyes lit up as they walked into their classrooms to find backpacks at their desks. He said the students put the bags right on their backs and walked around the school with their new packs during the open house.

“Every kid felt a little bit more pride in starting their school year,” Pratt said, “and had the opportunity to have a backpack with school supplies.”

Ryan Hawkins, Nyssa interim superintendent, said it meant a lot for families to walk into the classrooms and see that backpacks and basic supplies, like notebooks and pencils, were taken care of.

In a recent survey, the National Retail Foundation found that families with elementary and high school children would spend nearly $900 on school supplies, up from last year’s record of over $860.

In Malheur County, the poorest in Oregon, purchasing nearly $900 in school supplies is a heavy lift, which ends up getting picked up in part by the teachers.

Educators often spend their money to buy supplies for students and families who don’t have the means to buy them.

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