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School is Cool celebrates 20 years of lending a helping hand

August 1, 2011

A twenty-year-old program is helping kids for a mere $20 each - 20/20 vision, you could say.

For two decades, the School is Cool program has provided school supplies to less fortunate children in the Poudre School District to make sure they have the tools they need to start the school year off right.

For just $20, you can help make a local student's educational experience more successful. This amount will sponsor one backpack filled with grade-appropriate school supplies. Because supplies are purchased in high volume, organizers are able to purchase items at costs often lower than advertised sale prices. This has kept the average cost of a filled backpack, which also includes the backpack, at $20 over the last 13 years.

Friday deadline

Aug. 5 is the deadline for School is Cool donations to be applied toward the 2011-2012 academic year.

CSU faculty and staff can make a gift in a variety of ways. Donate through payroll deduction, or a credit card gift.

A donation can also be made by check made payable to Colorado State University Foundation with “School is Cool” in the memo line. Mail your check to School is Cool, Colorado State University Foundation, 9100 Campus Delivery.

“While CSU faculty and staff have consistently shown their support for the program over the years, the need for the program continues to grow,” said School is Cool committee member Deb Couture with the Colorado State University Foundation.         

24,000 children have benefitted 

Since 1992, School Is Cool has helped more than 24,000 children in the Poudre School District. Last year, the program assisted 2,516 students in 46 schools with supplies. This year the goal is to fill and distribute 2,650 backpacks – a far cry from the 62 backpacks delivered to six schools 20 years ago.

“The success of the School Is Cool program is due to the generous support of faculty, staff, community members, and our partners like the Colorado State Bookstore and Bohemian Foundation,” said Sara Colorosa, a School is Cool committee member who works with the Colorado State Forest Service. “For 20 years, this program has been able to make the first day of school so memorable for children in our community. In order to hit the goal of 2,650 backpacks, we are counting on everyone to pledge their support. Whether you donate $20 to fill a backpack with supplies or volunteer to help fill and deliver these backpacks, it’s your support that matters.”

How can you help?

Organizing activities will take place Aug. 16, with stuffing of the backpacks on Aug. 17. The filled backpacks are then delivered on Aug. 18 to each school requesting supplies. All activities are held at 222 Johnson Hall on the CSU main campus.

People interested in volunteering may contact Susan Cavender at 491-1432 or

Each school determines which students will receive the supplies based on need. Families interested in obtaining School is Cool supplies should contact their home schools directly. Backpacks are not available at or through CSU.

School Is Cool is a program organized and managed entirely by Colorado State University employees with generous support from the Bohemian Foundation and Colorado State University Bookstore.

More information

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Contact: Jim Beers
Phone: (970) 491-6401