Hundreds of backpacks filled with school supplies

Summer of Dreams program helps students begin school year prepared

Local 6 News at 6:00p
Local 6 News at 6:00p

ORLANDO, Fla. – As the school year fast approaches, families are gearing up for an exciting time of school supply shopping.

But for struggling families, buying the basic supplies for their children can be near impossible. But that is where the Summer of Dreams program gets involved.

Barb Scherer, senior vice president/director of marketing for Fifth Third Bank, was full of excitement when talking about Wednesday's event.

"What we want to do is put together these backpacks for them, so they can have the all the supplies and tools they need so they can be ready to go when school begins," Scherer said.

Chane Alexander, a seventh grader, knows that feeling all too well. When asked how it felt to start school unprepared she said, "Like you're nervous; when your teacher asks you do have this or that, and you're like, 'Oh, no. I forgot about that.' I feel like I can't learn without the right school supplies."

Chane is just one of thousands of students benefiting from the Summer of Dreams program this year. For 10 weeks, homeless students learn how to prepare for a successful future. They're given meals, mentoring and now brand new school supplies.

Students from the program along with volunteers spent their Wednesday morning working on an assembly line, stuffing over 1,200 backpacks.

?"It's an amazing program that has been put in place to help homeless kids have a great day camp experience. We join in with other partners to supply them with backpacks stuffed with school supplies," said Jane Thompson, president of the Gift of Teaching.

?The supplies include notebooks, pencils, rulers and other essentials needed to get kids started on the right foot this school year.

Since launching in 2011, Summer of Dreams has helped more than 5,500 students in need across the Central Florida area.

About the Author: