500 backpacks donated in Yonkers Back to School Giveaway
The city of Yonkers, in conjunction with the school district, hosted its 12th annual backpack giveaway on Tuesday.
"Parents and families are spending hundreds of dollars in some cases, it looks like almost $1,000 just on preparing to get you back into school," said Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano.
The National Retail Federation estimates that back-to-school spending will reach $41.5 billion, the most it's ever been.
In an effort to help ease the financial burden, the city and school district, with help from sponsors, teamed up at the Cross Hill Academy to give away 500 backpacks to kids in the district.
Each year, a different school is chosen based on need, and this year, both Cross Hill Academy and the Early Childhood Academy were the chosen recipients.
"With the cost of living increasing and knowing how expensive school supplies can be, it's great to see that our community can help our families," said Yonkers Early Childhood Academy Principal Stefanie Felidi.
While a backpack might seem like a relatively small gift when you compare it to the rest of the back-to-school expenses, according to Interim Superintendent Dr. Luis Rodriguez, it represents so much more than a way to carry books.
"One of the primary things we can do to promote learning readiness is to promote their sense of confidence that they've got this because they've got the basic elements needed to compete on a level playing field," he said.
According to the city, more than 17,000 backpacks have been distributed since the backpack-to-school drive first started in 2012.