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Outreach

Students well prepared for a new school year

August 18, 2011

This year's School is Cool program filled more backpacks than ever - a record 2,674 backpacks were filled and delivered to make sure students had needed supplies to start the school year off right.

CSU President Tony Frank shares a laugh with School is Cool volunteers while stuffing backpacks. In its 20th year, School is Cool continues to expand to provide valuable materials to school-aged children in the Poudre School District. The goal of 2,650 students was met and exceeded with the help of more than 130 volunteers during the height of the program’s activities Aug. 16-18.

Since 1992, School is Cool has provided backpacks filled with free school supplies to more than 24,000 local students.

Each year, backpacks are filled with grade-level appropriate supplies such as notebooks, pens, rulers, crayons and erasers. Scientific calculators are included in all middle school backpacks.

Last year, 2,516 packs and bags were distributed to 46 Poudre School District elementary, middle school and high schools. Each school determines which students will receive the supplies based on need.

President Frank among the many volunteers

CSU employees and community members volunteer their time to organize and stuff backpacks and book bags. The filled backpacks are then delivered to each school requesting supplies.

Among the volunteers was CSU President Tony Frank, who worked a shift stuffing backpacks.

“Clearly, this is a fantastic program, and we’re very proud of it,” said CSU President Tony Frank, who worked a shift Wednesday afternoon stuffing supplies into backpacks. “Every member of this community should feel good about this program, which gives every kid entering public school in this city a chance to start on a level playing field. This is a true grass-roots effort by members of the CSU staff and community, and I love everything about it.”

Community support

The bulk of the funding for this annual project comes from CSU employees. The School is Cool program is also generously supported by the Bohemian Foundation, the CSU Bookstore and the Fort Collins community.

School is Cool was founded in 1992 by CSU employee Kathy Phifer, who raised enough money to fill 67 backpacks that first year. Since then, thousands of backpacks have been filled and thousands of dollars donated by CSU employees to support this community outreach program.

“We have seen amazing growth in 20 years, and that’s all due to the tremendous work of our School is Cool committee and volunteers,” Phifer said. “It has been extremely gratifying to see the program grow from helping a few dozen students to more than 2,600 this year.”

A year-round project

Support for School is Cool is welcome year round. Send gifts to: School is Cool, Colorado State University Foundation, 9100 Campus Delivery.

Online giving also is available.

More information about School is Cool.

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Contact: Tony Phifer
E-mail: tony.phifer@colostate.edu
Phone: (970) 491-7712