SAN JOSE, Calif. – Santa Clara County workers this year joined Sacred Heart Community Service, in its 11th annual Pack-A-Back Education Campaign, to help children from low-income families start the school year right.
Through the Community First Santa Clara coalition, county workers helped to raise enough funds for Sacred Heart to be able to distribute a record 2,462 backpacks on Friday [Aug. 9]
“As county workers, we are here to let the community know about the important county services we provide. Community First wants to ensure our children and families have quality services to keep them healthy and strong,” said Marilyn Mara, a county Public Health Nurse, who volunteered her time to come help with the event.
Said Mirta Mirabal, a Child Support Officer, who also came Friday:
“The backpacks we helped to donate are just the first step. We want to ensure the best quality services for our children and families. As county workers, we work to bring the community many vital programs and services that help children and families succeed. We need the county to invest in our community by providing quality public services, such as Childhood Nutrition, Health Care, Counseling, Transportation, and Community Safety.”
Parents from low-income families in San Jose were given appointment times starting at 10 a.m. and together with the children, selected backpacks filled will age-appropriate school supplies.
“We need your support to make sure the County is investing in a quality workforce so we can continue to serve our children and families,” said Ethel Foronda, Public Health Nurse. “Please join us at www.communityfirstsantaclara.org.”
A recent study by the American Educational Research Association shows that a low-income student who cannot read at grade level by 3rd grade is 13 times less likely to graduate from high school by age 19 than his/her proficient, wealthier peer. School supplies and a backpack cost at least $60—nearly a full day’s pay for a minimum wage worker.
“Too many of our local kids are falling behind,” said Poncho Guevara, Sacred Heart’s Executive Director. “So we are bringing together all parts of the community to make sure that every child has the opportunity to succeed at school, graduate and go on to college.”
Contact: Khanh Weinberg, 408.678.3364