Sacred Heart Backpack Giveaway Sends San Jose Students To School With Confidence

SAN JOSE (KCBS) — Parents from low-income families lined up in San Jose Friday morning to register their kids for a free backpack giveaway.

This year almost 3,000 will be given away. Many parents like Bessie camped out overnight.

“It means a lot. This isn’t their school clothes that I still have to buy. So, the backpacks help out a lot. I have a high schooler. I still have to get her clothes too,” she said.

The line stretched out around the building at Sacred Heart Community Service on 1381 S. First Street.

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“It seems like the economy’s improving, but for the families we see, their wages just aren’t keeping up. Even though they’re working hard, when rents go up so quickly, it’s such an expensive place to live. Something like a backpack can make a family feel really good about the start of the school year and know that they can succeed,” said Community Engagement Coordinator Carol Stephenson.

A recent Stanford study found the achievement gap between children from high and low-income families has widened by roughly 40 percent in the last three decades.

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