Back to school: Volunteers stuff school bus with backpacks of donated supplies

Credit: Journal News

Stuff the bus school supply drive

Credit: Journal News

Charitable effort in fourth year helping Lakota district’s neediest students.

As Lakota and other area schools prepare to return to classes next month, many local students from needy families can use help with school supplies.

So Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center works with Lakota each year by stuffing a school bus full of school stuff.

This year’s event took place Thursday at Liberty Center and saw volunteers and many donations of school supplies, which were placed into donated backpacks and then a school bus for use in August by Lakota students.

“In addition to school supplies, backpacks will include informational flyers providing learning tips, child health information and community resources,” said Michelle Hopkins, a senior specialist with community relations for Cincinnati Children’s, which has a medical center in Liberty Twp. — one of two townships comprising Lakota Schools.

“We’re just happy to be able to serve our community. Let’s face it, this can be a tough time for many families with so many financial responsibilities hitting all at one time. So, if we can help make it a little easier by providing some basic needs to start school, it’s a win for everyone,” said Hopkins.

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The Thursday afternoon event saw many stop by with donated items.

Hopkins said 550 backpacks of school supplies will go to qualified Lakota school families among the 16,800 students enrolled in Butler County’s largest school district.

Another 100 backpacks will go to Cincinnati Children’s patient families in need.

This is the fourth year for the charitable effort and other partners include: Liberty Center; MidPointe Library; West Chester & Liberty Lifestyle, Liberty Township, Primary Health Solutions, West Chester and Liberty Chamber Alliance, EDGE Teen Center and Lakota Sports Organization.

Matt Miller, superintendent of Lakota Schools, said “we are always grateful to our community and the support they show our students. We truly appreciate the Advisory Committee for organizing this event that will certainly help our kids start the year off right,”

Lakota Schools starts on a staggered scheduled from Aug. 18 to Aug. 25 determined alphabetically by students’ last names and grade level.

Lakota school families can get more information about the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year at the district’s website.

(Photographer Nicholas Graham contributed to this story)