On the early morning of Friday July 11th, Sacred Heart Community Service opened its registration program for thousands of families in order for their children to get a backpack with essential school supplies for the coming year.
Some parents were here as early as the previous night waiting patiently for the registration to open up, much like during the holidays at Sacred Heart, where food, toys, as well as other essential services are offered.
In 2002 150 backpacks were given out. Now, 12 years later, that number has skyrocketed to 2,800 backpacks. Although it is a large difference, it’s unfortunately not enough to secure all the children in the area with the tools for school.
“Academic achievement starts with ensuring children have the right tools in hand on the first day of school” said Executive Director Poncho Guevara. “Last year, we had to turn away parents when we filled up all our registration appointments. This year, we expanded our number by 300 to make sure 2,800 children are ready for the start of class.”
Economic inequality has been an increasingly staggering reality in the Bay Area as funding continues to go to the higher tax bracketed communities. This forces the working class and poorer areas to have their children go to inadequately funded schools around the San Francisco Bay Area. The lack of proper care leads to missed opportunities for these children.
Although new measurements and laws are down the pipeline, such as local control funding formula for allocating funding more appropriately through the various districts, this will not be fully in place until the 2020-21 school year.
That is why Sacred Heart believes it’s crucial for anyone who can help to do so. Every bit helps sponsor a child and helps getting them the supplies they will need to start the school year strong. If you are interested, please visit www.sacredheartcs.org/packaback or stop by the community center at 1381 S. First Street in San Jose.