NORWALK, CONN. – State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) recently joined staff members of Norwalk’s Head Start early childhood education program to ask the public's help in obtaining backpacks and other critical school supplies for needy children.
“If we want to help our children succeed in school, the best thing we can do is ensure they are well prepared to learn. Part of that means providing them with basic school supplies like backpacks and pencils,” Duff said in a prepared statement. “Unfortunately, many of our city’s neediest children beginning kindergarten this year cannot afford these essential school supplies. There is a need for somewhere between one to two hundred backpacks to supply this year’s Head Start graduates. If you are able to make a donation, please bring backpacks, other items or cash donations to any of three Norwalk locations.”
Norwalk Economic Opportunity Now, Inc. coordinates the Head Start program in the city of Norwalk. Chiquita Stephenson, its acting chief executive officer/president said in a prepared statement: “We are very grateful and appreciative of the work being done by NEON’s Head Start Family Outreach staff. As they gear up for their new students, they are also ensuring that their preschool graduates are equipped with a backpack and supplies as they transition to Norwalk Public School kindergarten classrooms. We stay committed to our children and families even after they advance forward.”
All donations of regular-size backpacks (large enough to fit a library book and a lunchbox), boxes of 24 crayons, boxes of pencils, glue sticks and other school supplies are being accepted until Aug. 28. Gift cards or checks are also welcome.
Donations may be dropped off at any of the following locations:
1. Nathaniel Ely School, 11 Ingalls Ave., Norwalk.
2. Ben Franklin Center, 165 Flax Hill Road, Norwalk.
3. NEON HQ, 98 S. Main St. Norwalk.
“Early childhood education programs, like Head Start, have shown us that when students are well prepared for kindergarten, they go on to succeed in the later grades, and that success carries them forward into their later lives and careers," Duff said in a prepared statement. "No child should get off to a slow start in kindergarten for lack of a backpack. If everyone who is able contributes a small amount, we can make sure these needs are met.”