The Eastern U.S. Chapter of the Intl. WeLoveU Foundation Donates 950 Backpacks and School Supplies to Three Schools

The Eastern U.S. Chapter of the Intl. WeLoveU Foundation donated digital devices to children of underprivileged households in the U.S. from September 2020 to June 2021 as part of the “Closing the Homework Gap” project. From August, they started providing backpacks to students. Unlike the academic year 2020 to 2021 when most of the classes were online due to the spread of COVID-19, the need for the provision of school bags for students increased as offline classes resumed in the academic year 2021 to 2022 with the increase of vaccination rate.

With the start of the “Packs on Backs” webinar on August 23, the members of the Eastern U.S. Chapter delivered 950 school bags and more than 2,600 school and sanitary supplies to three schools in California, Illinois, and New Jersey, on August 26 and 27 and September 9. It aims at UN Sustainable Development Goal 4 Quality Education.

The WeLoveU held the webinar first in order to encourage more people to have interest in the education of children for the improvement of students’ education. The panelists at the webinar were Executive Director Sadie Stockdale Jefferson from the Children’s First Fund in Chicago, IL; Principal Dave Herman from the Whitney M. Young Jr. School in Jersey City, NJ; and Principal Kimberly Miller and Instruction Aide Tamala Davis from Marlton School for the Deaf in Los Angeles, CA.

Economic difference between households occurred as the economic hardship of the vulnerable groups was aggravated by COVID-19 pandemic. The panelists talked about how this affects the education opportunities of the students. Sadie Stockdale Jefferson noted, “There are barriers for students that have nothing to do with their talent or intelligence, things like having basic school supplies.” Principal Kimberly Miller said, “It’s been very difficult for our students. The particular thing for our students is that they sign, and being on small devices makes the window to be able to see very small. And so when you’re signing, you don’t always get to see it. So there were technical problems in that sense.”

The panelists talked about uneven education opportunities among students through their own experiences, emphasized the importance of giving out school bags, and hoped that this project could bridge the gap in education opportunities for children.

1An academic year in the U.S. is usually from August or September of each year to the following May or June.

Cheer for the Bright and Hopeful Future of Children With Schoolbags

On August 26, the WeLoveU members visited Spencer Technology Academy in Chicago, Illinois, along with the Children First Fund to support its elementary students with 450 backpacks, essential school supplies such as notebooks, colored pencils, and scissors, and over 2,600 hygiene products such as wet wipes and hand sanitizers. They provided basic learning tools so that children would not be poorly prepared for the new semester. That day, the WeLoveU and the Children First Fund promised to work together for a year to improve the quality of education for students.

The next day on the 27th, the WeLoveU delivered 150 backpacks to the Marlton School in Los Angeles, California, under the auspices of WSS. The Marlton School is the only school for deaf and hard-of-hearing children within California. Marlton School Principal Kimberly Miller said, “Thank you so much for coming out and providing these backpacks for our students. From what we have already seen, the smiles on the faces of our students, that’s it. We want to encourage them in their reading, their math, being well-rounded citizens.” Lauren Maucere, the Assistant Principal of the Marlton School expressed her thanks, saying, “Many of the children don’t get a lot of opportunities to be recognized as part of the community. So, thanks to WeLoveU and WSS for showing our children that they are a big part of the world and that they matter.”

On September 9, the WeLoveU delivered 350 backpacks to the Dr. Charles C. Polk Elementary School in Roselle, New Jersey, for the children of families affected by hurricane. Approximately 100 students, New Jersey Congressman Donald Payne, Jr., Board of Education President Dr. Courtney Washington, Superintendent Dr. Nathan Fisher, Principal Ms. Andreea Harry, school administrators, and teachers, joined the donation ceremony. The congressman and the officials related to education talked about the importance of education, and encouraged the students who are learning in a challenging environment amid the pandemic. The donation ceremony ended by handing out backpacks to the children.

Education is a far-sighted vision for the country. Children are future leaders who will take the responsibility of their country, so education must be planned with an eye on their future. We need to be careful that children’s educational opportunities are not given unequally due to other environmental factors. The WeLoveU hopes that all children around the world will be able to stand up as members of society with equal opportunities, and plans to establish its far-sighted educational vision through various methods such as providing backpacks.