BY YVETTE BROWN
With school fast approaching, many elected officials have become heavily involved in assisting with school supplies and backpacks.
On Tuesday Aug. 18, Congressman Joe Crowley (D-Queens, Bronx) donated school supplies to the New York Junior Tennis and Learning’s ACES students in Corona at IS61. This is the second year Crowley has participated in giving back to students in programs; this is only one of several giveaways that Crowley is organizing throughout the district.
“It’s important for our young people in going back to school and being prepared, being ready and it also helps their parents, maybe take some of the pressure off now that they have some supplies ready,” said Crowley. “We’re trying to send a message that when children go back to school, they’re prepared to tackle the issues that they’re going to be dealing with and these tools help them.”
Crowley continued by explaining that it’s important for all communities to be in touch with their elected officials and have access to them and visa versa to help instill in children what they should understand about the community.
“It doesn’t start when you’re 18, it starts before that and preparing them for that and that’s what we care about as well,” said Crowley. “We’re in an enriching environment with people who care about them and not only about their mental well-being, but their physical well-being as well.”
Crowley admitted that what the program is doing at IS61 helps the students to enjoy school and making sure that they have these supplies is even more beneficial.
Other elected officials who have also given back to the community in regards to school supplies include Sen. Jose Peralta (D-East Elmhurst) who also came out to Corona on Aug. 8 at the St. Paul Apostle Church to help lower income families. Peralta gave away over 2,100 backpacks filled with school supplies.
“It is very important that our kids are prepared to start school and having the right supplies is a crucial part of that preparation,” Peralta said. “I want to make sure local students have the proper necessities to succeed during the upcoming academic year. During these tough economic times, many families may be facing a hard time making their ends meet and it is important that education continues forward even when many are tightening their belts.”
Council members Costa Constantinides (D-Astoria) and Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside) are also involved in back to school donations.
Van Bramer is holding his sixth annual back to school supply drive to collect new school items for children in need. His team will be collecting new packets of pens, pencils, backpacks, lunchboxes, binders, loose-leaf paper, folders, glue sticks, index cards, protractors, notebooks, etc. through Sept. 10. All the supplies will go directly to students in need at the local schools within the district. The donations can be dropped off at any local Queens Library branch within the 26th district or can be dropped off at his district office at 47-01 Queens Blvd. Suite 205 in Sunnyside between the hours of 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Constantinides is hosting a second annual school supply drive and the supplies will go directly to the local schools. Donations will be accepted through Sept. 8 to his office at 31-09 Newtown Ave., suite 209 or 31-05 Broadway in Astoria.
“All children deserve the right tools to aide in their education,” said Constantinides. “For too many students, the need for supplies sets them back before they can even start the school year right. Through this drive, we are proud to connect the community support to schools that are most in need.”
For more information regarding Constantinides’ school supply drive, call (718) 274-4500. For more information regarding Van Bramer’s school supply drive, call (718) 383-9566.
Reach Yvette Brown at (718)357-7400 ext. 128, firstname.lastname@example.org or @eveywrites.