By Carlotta Mohamed
State Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Elmhurst) hosted his Ninth Annual Back to School Giveaway last week with community organizations and volunteers distributing some 3,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to children on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The traditional backpack giveaway event was held Saturday at the intersection of 98th Place and 57th Avenue in Corona with more than 20 local organizations. With the upcoming academic year just one month away, each student received one backpack containing notebooks, pencil kits, crayons and other learning tools.
Children and students also participated in face-painting activities and jumped around a bounce house.
Over the past nine years, Peralta has collaborated with organizations to distribute more than 20,000 new backpacks to local schoolchildren.
“Education is fundamental for a child’s future, and providing the appropriate learning tools is vital to ensure schoolchildren are confident to face the new academic year. Unfortunately, many hardworking families struggle to make ends meet and cannot afford to buy the basic school supplies for their children,” Peralta said. “With initiatives like this, we try to provide local students with the school necessities they need and deserve.”
Queens Center Mall, one of Peralta’s co-sponsors, helped provide backpacks for the back-to-school event.
“These public/private partnership are a perfect way to make life better for those in need in our community,” said John Scaturro, senior manager of marketing for Queens Center Mall. “Assisting families with their back-to-school needs takes some of the pressure off the season for parents, and it gives children a head start on their academic success.”
Reach reporter Carlotta Mohamed by e-mail at cmoha