The City's Community & Neighbourhood Services department has partnered with Staples and several other community agencies in the Staples for Education program which provides school supplies to low income Calgary families.
"It's important for children to have the right school supplies - whether it's the right sort of notepaper, pencil or even calculator, having the right supplies puts children in the class on an even footing and lets them take full advantage of what the class has to offer," says Lindsay Miller, Community Social Worker with Community & Neighbourhood Services.
Calgarians can either donate new school supplies or donate to the program at any Calgary and area Staples store. The cash donations are used to purchase additional supplies which are then placed into backpacks and delivered to low income families. Donations totalling $200 or more are eligible for a tax receipt from The City.
Community & Neighbourhood Services and other community agencies register families who have children that need school supplies. When a family registers, the child's age, grade and gender is recorded and a backpack is customized to their needs.
Miller says that The City anticipates that they will distribute close to 1,500 backpacks this year, up from the approximately 1,100 backpacks that were distributed in 2008.
Families can register for the program through their neighbourhood community office or by calling 3-1-1. The cut off for registration is August 20 and the backpacks will be delivered around August 28.