QUEENS, NY – As part of her commitment to getting the school year off to a good start for all children, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is encouraging members of the public to once again donate backpacks and other school supplies to homeless children as part of “Project: Back to School,” an annual initiative organized by the Coalition for the Homeless.
“There were over 100,000 homeless students in New York City public schools, according to recent counts,” said Borough President KATZ. “All children, no matter where they sleep at night, deserve the opportunity to learn. We can help ensure every child has that opportunity by providing the backpacks and school supplies that all school kids need. Queens residents are encouraged to generously donate backpacks and other school supplies to ‘Project: Back to School.’ Such donations will make a real difference in the lives of so in need.”
Borough President Katz’s office is accepting donations of backpacks and other school supplies now through September 1st at Queens Borough Hall, located at 120-55 Queens Boulevard in Kew Gardens. Donations will be accepted on the first floor of Borough Hall in a box located just inside the front entrance in the main lobby next to the security desk. Donations dropped off at Queens Borough Hall are anonymous and are not tax-deductible. All donated items received will be distributed to schoolchildren living in homeless shelters to help them have the tools they need to succeed in school.
“Project Back to School gives thousands of homeless students the school supplies they desperately need but simply can’t afford on their own,” said DAVE GIFFEN, Executive Director of the Coalition for the Homeless, the nation’s oldest advocacy and direct service organization helping homeless men, women and children. “Becoming homeless is a shocking disruption in any child’s development and education, but thanks to Borough President Melinda Katz and hundreds of volunteers and donors across the city, we can make sure that these young learners have the supplies they need to continue their education.”
Last year, more than 105,000 New York City public school kids experienced homelessness at some point during the year, according to the Coalition for the Homeless. That number equals nearly 10 percent of the students enrolled in our City’s public school system.
In addition to backpacks, the Coalition for the Homeless says supplies that are much needed by elementary school children include No. 2 pencils, pencil sharpeners, composition notebooks, colored pencils, crayons, washable markers, glue, erasers, safety scissors and rulers. Also needed are items used by middle and high school children, including 1” and 1 ½” binders, filler binder paper, scissors, pocket folders, scientific calculators and blue and black pens.
This is the fourth year in a row that Borough President Katz is hosting a “Project: Back to School” drop-off site at Queens Borough Hall, which is open Monday through Friday during business hours and can be easily reached by mass transit by taking the E or F subway lines to the Kew Gardens-Union Turnpike station.