'Get Ready for School' event supplies kids for the new year
The financial burden of back-to-school supply shopping can weigh heavily on some families, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. But in Arlington Heights, community organizations came together to help lift that financial burden for many families with the "Get Ready for School" last month.
Members and officials at Faith Lutheran Church have been working alongside Arlington Heights School District 25, Community Consolidated School District 59, and other community partners for the past 15 years to give students and families an easeful start to the school year.
Through the generosity of the program's sponsors, Faith Luthern compiled donations and provided backpacks filled with school supplies to help prepare kids in Arlington Heights for the school year. The "Get Ready for School" partnership supports education by providing assistance for kindergarten through eighth grade families.
For the first 13 years, the program provided not only school supplies and backpacks, but free haircuts, coats and a day-of resource fair that included the Arlington Heights Fire and Police departments, Arlington Heights Health & Human Services Department, Arlington Heights Park District, the library and many more.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, that fair turned into a drive-through event where qualifying families picked up the backpacks filled with supplies. Approximately 300 students are helped each year through this program.
"It truly is a community partnership that we cherish and celebrate every year," said Lana O'Brien, executive assistant to District 25's superintendent and the school district's "Get Ready for School" event representative.
"Get Ready for School" event partners included: Arlington Heights School District 25, Community Consolidated School District 59, Arlington Cares N. F. P, Sherwin Ace Hardware, Cook County Bus Company, The Salvation Army, Thrivent Financial, Arlington Heights Junior Women's Club and School District 214 Community Education.