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Office Of Education Hosting Annual Backpack Palooza Drive
Stanislaus Office of Ed

The start of a new school year is an exciting time for most children, but for homeless children, this is a time open to emotional and academic challenges. Without even the most basic supplies, these students start at a disadvantage that only gets worse as the school year progresses. The Stanislaus County Office of Education aims to provide local homeless and at-risk youth with new backpacks and school supplies – tools they need to achieve academic success. The Backpack Palooza Drive is slated for July 15 – 31.  To kick off the drive school supplies and backpacks can be dropped off at Alfred Matthews Cadillac GMC Buick on July 15 and then at any of the following locations: Stanislaus County Office of Education – 1100 H St., Modesto; Alfred Matthews Cadillac GMC Buick – 3807 McHenry Ave., Modesto; Mocse Credit Union – 1400 J Street, Modesto; Mocse Credit Union – 3600 Coffee Road, Modesto; Mocse Credit Union – 1401 Geer Road, Turlock; Lakewood Memorial – 900 Santa Fe Road, Hughson; Sutter Gould Medical Foundation – 600 Coffee Road, Modesto, Information Desk or at 3100 W. Christoffersen Parkway, Turlock, Information Desk; or Golden 1 Credit Union – 2450 Geer Road, Turlock or 2001 McHenry Ave., Suite F, Modesto.

This year SCOE hopes to serve as many of the 6,500 homeless children living in Stanislaus County as possible. Filled backpacks are distributed to children in schools via school district homeless liaisons.

“We invite the community to support the homeless and low-income children and their families by bringing new backpacks filled with school supplies to one of the drop-off locations,” said Stanislaus County Superintendent of Schools Scott Kuykendall.

Additional information, including a full listing of all drop-off locations and the option to give online, is available at

Homeless children face a wide variety of challenges and long-lasting issues that are profoundly detrimental to their development and ability to learn, ultimately affecting their success in life. According to The National Center on Family Homelessness, homeless children are eight times more likely to be asked to repeat a grade; three times as likely to be placed in special education classes; and twice as likely to score lower on standardized tests. Backpack Palooza seeks to provide some sense of normalcy and remove one obstacle from homeless students’ lives. With a new backpack and new school supplies, students get to feel more like “regular kids” and can start the school year on more even footing.