As schools open up for another year of learning, Queens Borough President Melinda Katz is working to make sure all students, regardless of their living situation, have the necessary supplies to get the best education possible.
Katz has announced her office’s participation in the annual initiative organized by the Coalition for the Homeless called Project: Back to School, which donates backpacks and other school supplies such as No. 2 pencils, composition notebooks, pocket folders, calculators, 1-inch binders and colored pencils to schoolchildren living in homeless shelters.
“About 87,000 New York City schoolkids live in homeless shelters or temporary housing, and not a single school district is spared from this epidemic,” Katz said. “Every child deserves a strong start to the school year with proper supplies just like their fellow peer. We urge Queens residents to donate generously toward this drive, and encourage all residents to take advantage of various complimentary back-to-school giveaways throughout the borough in the coming weeks.”
Queens Borough Hall is accepting backpack and school supply donations between now through Sept. 18 in a drop-off box placed in the lobby, located at 120-55 Queens Blvd.
“School kids living in homeless shelters must contend with unimaginable levels of stress and hardship, and are at a tremendous disadvantage when trying to keep up with their housed peers in class,” said Dave Giffen, executive director of the Coalition for the Homeless. “We are so pleased to have Borough President Katz and the caring people of Queens involved in this year’s Project: Back to School. With nearly 24,000 children sleeping in homeless shelters tonight, it is so important that we do all we can to help these young kids achieve academically.”
Borough Hall is currently the only location in Queens where Project: Back to School donations are being collected. It is open Monday through Friday during business hours and can be reached by taking the E or F subway lines to the Kew Gardens-Union Turnpike station.
All donations dropped off at Queens Borough Hall are anonymous and are not tax-deductible.