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A Bright Spot for Students Returning from a Tough School Year

September 13, 2021

One in six American children are living in poverty, according to the Children’s Defense Fund. In California, more than 6 million people cannot afford basic necessities, per the Public Policy Institute of California. For many low-income families, this includes school supplies. To help alleviate this urgent need in our communities, Bank of the Sierra recently donated 1,400 backpacks to several local schools and youth organizations. We hope that by donating backpacks, students from low- and moderate-income families will have fewer financial concerns to worry about as they start a new school year. More than 50 percent of the students at each of the selected schools are on a free or reduced-price meal plan.

Each of the following schools and organizations received 100 backpacks:

  • Fresno County: Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County and Sunnyside High School
  • Kern County: Foothill High School and South High School
  • Kings County: Avenal High School and Corcoran High School
  • San Luis Obispo County: Nipomo High School and Shandon High School
  • Santa Barbara County: Santa Barbara Junior High School and Lompoc High School
  • Tulare County: Farmersville High School and Lindsay High School
  • Ventura County: Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Oxnard and Port Hueneme and Fillmore Senior High School

Fortunately for the students, the provided backpacks were not empty. We stuffed them with notepads, calculators, pencils, and other school supplies to help the students learn throughout the school year.

We recognize that at the beginning of this new school year, many local students could use some financial guidance, especially if their parents or guardians have been economically hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic. To further assist these students, we also provided financial literacy tips and invited them to an online financial literacy workshop in September.

We hope that students put the backpacks to good use and that it is one less financial concern for families of students as their children begin a new school year.

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