Backpacks provided directly to campuses for distribution
The annual Austin ISD Back to School Bash is going virtual this year, along with an increase of 13,000 additional backpacks distributed to students.
The Back to School Bash has historically been an avenue for families to receive services and connect with community organizations ahead of the first day of school. Families will still be able to access those services, including free car booster seats, with the Bash Virtual Backpack. Through this service, families can engage with nearly 60 community organizations to receive support during this unique year.
Austin ISD, with the help of Office Depot, distributed a total of 17,500 backpacks to campuses. The district distributed about 4,500 backpacks In previous years at the Back to School Bash. Campuses received backpacks with supplies for 40 percent of their students who qualify for free and reduced lunch services.
"I am proud to join a community that comes together to support our students in this year of unprecedented change," Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde said. "The supplies and services available to our families through the virtual Back to School Bash will help our students prepare for the year as we work together to adapt to our new normal."
Backpacks include the following supplies: wide-ruled spiral notebook, pink eraser, a mask, #2 pencils, glue stick, ruler, clear pencil box, red ink pen, blue ink pen, black ink pen, pencil sharpener and a packet of essential one-pagers with additional information for family resources.
Since there are no district-wide mandated in-person events for this year's Backpack Bash, campus leadership teams will decide how and when to safely distribute backpacks to individual students/families. For example, some campuses may choose to hold a drive-through supply pick-up with appropriate approval while following safety guidelines.
The Austin EdFund sponsored the Back to School Backpack Bash with generous donations made through the Crisis Support Fund from various sponsors, including A+ Federal Credit Union, Austin Board of Realtors, RBFCU, Cross Texas Transmission, Capital Metro and many more.
"We're thrilled to be able to support the Back to School Bash this year, increasing the number of students reached by 13,000. We want to thank our sponsors and donors for their generous support," said Michelle Wallis, executive director of the Austin Ed Fund. "This is made possible through the AISD Crisis Support Fund which has been supported generously by our community since March. We will continue to support our students, staff and families as we all continue to navigate the challenges that this semester brings."
Additional sponsors include The Neighborhood, Office Depot, DJ Bling Foundation and the Colony Park Neighborhood Association in partnership with Cortez Consulting and Travis County Commissioner Jeff Travillion.
About Austin Ed Fund
Austin Ed Fund is a recognized champion of Austin ISD. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Austin Ed Fund develops and stewards meaningful public-private partnerships that promote innovation and support opportunities that prepare Austin ISD students for college, career, and life. The organization has successfully served as a catalyst and facilitated over $20 million in support for Austin ISD strategic priorities and initiatives since 2001. Austin Ed Fund empowers teachers and students through two campus-based grant programs. Through these programs, Austin Ed Fund has awarded over $861,000 since 2015. For more information, visit www.austinedfund.org.