BY ANDREAS BUTLER
Daytona Beach parents who need help with school supplies can again look to the city to lend a hand.
For years, the city has been sponsoring the Daytona Beach Mayor’s Backpack Giveaway.
“For the residents and citizens of this city and those who attend our schools, we are always excited to support our children in their academic pursuits,” said Mayor Derrick Henry, a longtime educator and former administrator at Mainland High School.
“I want our youth to have adequate school supplies. Having the right supplies could make the difference between a successful or failed school year. I am honored to be able to continue this worthwhile tradition,” he said.
Started in 2008
During the three-day event, more than 3,000 free backpacks will be given out, filled with school supplies such as pencils, paper, markers, folders, crayons and rulers.
“This sends a message to our children in this community that they are important and their education is important. This gives them a chance to save money. Supplies can often become expensive for families and especially single parents with multiple children. It’s great that we show support and help ease the burden on some of our parents,” Henry expressed.
The Mayor’s Backpack giveaway has grown since its inception in 2008 under then Mayor Glenn Ritchey.
“It has mainly progressed. So many groups are now doing backpack giveaways. There is a plethora of organizations out there that are supporting our young people. We are just trying to sustain it. The need isn’t as great as it was when I first took office or back when I was on the commission,” commented Henry.
All those who participate must be Daytona Beach residents. Parents must accompany the child and provide identification.
The Mayor’s Backpack Giveaway schedule is as follows:
•Saturday, July 30, 9 a.m. to noon, Yvonne Scarlett-Golden Cultural and Education Center,100 Vine St.
•Sunday, July 31, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Schnebly Recreation Center, 1101 N. Atlantic Ave.
•Saturday, Aug. 13, 9 a.m. to noon, Daisy Stocking Park, 550 Third St. The event will be moved to the Dickerson Community Center at 309 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. in the event of rain.
How to help
The giveaway is sponsored by the City of Daytona Beach, Florida Power & Light Company, Daytona Beach Police Department, Daytona Beach Fire Department, Certified Air Contractors Inc., PNC Bank, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Target and PepsiCo.
Vendors, sponsors and school supplies are still needed for the event.
“We are just happy and appreciate those that contribute to and sponsor this event,” added Henry.
For more information or to donate supplies, contact the City of Daytona Beach Cultural Services and Community Events at 386-671-8253.