No matter the gender, backpacks are not only useful for carrying school supplies or books, but also make a fashion statement for both boys and girls. With that in mind, a backpack must be stylish and everyone else must like it, according to someone in the know - Oakhurst Elementary School fourth-grader Riley Dunbar.
Last Friday, OES received 17 backpacks. The fourth-fifth combo class gathered to accept the special delivery from AmeriGas District General Manager Karen Frerichs and Customer Relations Representative Kathy Hatleli.
Because of the generosity of customers and other community members, AmeriGas collected about 700 backpacks to be distributed between seven districts. What this means is that 130 backpacks and school supplies will be handed out to Mountain Area schools.
“Children are such an important part of every community and its future,” Hatleli said. “This is our way of giving back. We want to make sure we give every child what they need to succeed.”
“We just want everyone to know that we’re here, and that we care,” Frerichs added.
Backpacks are important to these young students. After all, it’s what they carry everyday to school, much like a man with a sturdy briefcase or a woman with a large purse heading off to work. And that backpack must pass muster with fashion-conscious peers.
“What goes through my mind when I’m shopping is that my backpack has to be the latest style, and something I like,” student Paige Bartlett said.
“When I walk down the store aisles, I want this (a big fluffy pen) or that (a sparkly lunch box),” student Kaylee Hill added, “but then I wait for something perfect.” This year, for Hill, that “something perfect” was a pencil box.
Principal Kathleen Murphy expressed her gratitude for the partnership with AmeriGas, and told the group that students can earn small tags to attach to their backpacks - tags for perfect attendance, tags for pride, tags for good reading. Throughout the school year, children will be in need of a new backpack and when that occurs, they will “shop” with Murphy for a new one.
Along with OES, other schools in this service area to receive backpacks included Wasuma, Coarsegold, Rivergold, Mariposa Elementary and Woodland Elementary.