Plano Middle School students and employees formed a human chain May 9 to bring about $40,000 in donated items from the nonprofit organization Enchanted Backpack into the school to be distributed to students, classrooms and families.
The organization was started to prevent teachers from having to dip into their own pockets to provide students with necessary clothing, toiletries and classroom needs by providing them for schools with more than 50% of students in the free and reduced lunch program.
“It was super, duper, exciting,” PMS teacher Michelle Long, said about being informed that the school had been chosen by Enchanted Backpack. “It was really exciting, great for the community.”
Long said that she and Principal Mark Heller envision being able to hand students their necessary school supplies on the first day of the 2019-20 school year.
“That’s going to save mom and dad upward of $100 in school supplies. That would be for every student in the building, and that’s just one thing that we can do,” Long said.
“We’re super fortunate,” Heller said. “It’s a huge amount of supplies. It’s supplies we can turn around and use in our community.”
Supplies including pencils, pens, notebooks, paper, pencil sharpeners, dry erase markers, tape, scissors, hats, gloves, deodorant, toothpaste, shoes, books, games, art supplies and recess items were included in the donation to PMS. As the school will still be a partner in the upcoming school year, Long said that she can still apply for additional items or programs such as one-to-one technology or author visits.
“The sky’s the limit, so I’m hoping to apply for that, and we can get more for our school and our community,” Long said.
She also encouraged other schools to apply to Enchanted Backpack to receive supplies.
“There’s stuff out there. What’s the worst people can do, say no?,” she said. “But if you don’t try, you’re not going to get anything.”