220 children living in five Lantern buildings started the new school year with new backpacks and essential school supplies, thanks to the generous support of the Laura B. Vogler Foundation and Coalition for the Homeless’ Project: Back to School. For families struggling on extremely low incomes, finding the money for all the supplies their kids need for the school year is an impossible task. The donated backpacks and supplies brought lots of smiles and excitement, but more importantly, they ensured that Lantern children started the new year on an equal footing with their peers.
Backpacks were given out at Back to School Success events, where parents could learn about the range of education services available at Lantern throughout the year, including after-school programs, middle and high school application support, and SAT preparation. At Cedars Hall in the Bronx, we were able to throw a luau, thanks to a donation from Strike Campaign for Change. Lindenguild resident and prolific artist, Mike Deegan, created a 6-foot palm tree for the luau, which children proudly posed in front of with their new backpacks.