Northern Nevada school districts unite to stuff backpacks with supplies for students in need | NevadaAppeal.com

Northern Nevada school districts unite to stuff backpacks with supplies for students in need

More than 600 backpacks were loaded Thursday morning with school supplies, books, toiletries, food, and clothing to distribute to children in need across the state, with a portion of those bags to be donated to students in need in Carson City.

The Nevada Department of Education, the Carson City School District, and representatives from other northern region counties united in a collaborative effort to fill the backpacks at the school district's operations service center, 398 N. Richmond Ave. Feed the Children program will ship the supplies to the McKinney-Vento Students in Transition Program where items will be organized to distribute to 17 districts throughout the state, including Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, and Washoe counties.

Some of the items from last year's drive were transferred over.

The McKinney-Vento program provides students in transition a variety of services, such as academic support, transportation, clothing, and other needs.

According to Peggy Sweetland, special project coordinator of the school district and liaison for McKinney-Vento, there are 295 homeless students in Carson City, as of this week.

Although the number is lower compared to previous years, Sweetland said the McKinney-Vento program thinks the statistics may increase. However, these items are being distributed immediately for students to obtain before the holidays.

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"This drive levels the playing field of the chronic changes in a living environment," she said. "We're ensuring they're ready to learn by providing them needs in all areas as it's a lifeline for kids."

Earlier this year in April, Carson City School District's McKinney-Vento program provided more than 350 pairs of new shoes to pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students in transition.

"Our district and employees are happy to host this activity," said Richard Stokes, superintendent. "Our schools are extensions of our community, so providing for students in Nevada who lack a fixed, regular and adequate nighttime residence is really a part of who we all are."

Among the counties in Northern Nevada, Washoe is one of the top counties in need, said Katie Morales of the Washoe County School District Children in Transition Program. More than 1,800 students were identified in transition for this school year.

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