Back Pack Peoria gets families a head start to the new school year

Local News

The annual Back Pack Peoria event provided a book bag full of school supplies to families around the River City. This partnership between the Dream Center and Peoria Public Schools is helping families get ready for the new school year.

This comes as the first day of school for Peoria Public School students is August 14th, less than a month away.

Shawn Guy and his family are one of many who lined up outside of the Dream Center on Saturday morning. He said this event helped him get ready for back to school season.

“It’s expensive, too expensive. I’m dealing with three of them, getting them to school but I make it work. But this also takes out a lot of the costs,” said Guy.

Like Shawn, there are many other families around the city who got some financial relief.

“Some of these families we are working with, these are moms who are doing their best. They might be working two jobs. So, just bringing all of this stuff together in one place, to get it done in one hour, that’s massive,” said Brian Uhlenhopp, development director at Dream Center Peoria.

Not only did families get a brand new back pack full of school supplies, but students got to meet their principles face to face. They were also able to register there.

“Here in Peoria Public Schools, we basically want all children to come to school prepared, be there with first day compliance, immunizations, physicals, all of that they can do it here. But just as importantly with the back packs, we want kids to come to school prepared with all of their supplies so there’s no barrier that kids should encounter for their learning,” said Jerry L Bell, Executive Director of Middle Schools at Peoria Public Schools.

This event was the culmination of a full week of mission work around the city.

“This is coming at the end of Mission Peoria, so we had 300 high school students here all week serving the city. This is their last project so it’s awesome. The kids come in and it’s awesome to see that the high school students passing out the back packs are the same ones who have been out in these neighborhoods with the kids,” said Uhlenhopp.

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