CEDAR GROVE, NJ - Students on the Cedar Grove Memorial Middle School Student Council are making use of their free time this summer by organizing an effort to collect new or gently used backpacks which they will fill with school supplies and distribute to Newark and Jersey City public school students.
Tricia Speidel Newcomb, a West Essex NOW reader from Cedar Grove, is helping to spearhead the effort. She is reaching out to the West Essex area to let residents know that before they set aside or discard a gently used backpack, they instead could donate it to the school's collection.
"This was my daughter Camryn's initiative," Newcomb explained.
The students have been collecting the backpacks since the end of the school year. In speaking to a few teachers personally, they found three who expressed a dire need for their schools. Newcomb explained that the students have applied for a grant to cover the cost of purchasing the backpacks, but at this time they have not yet heard back.
"A mom from the middle school works in a Newark public school and she made us all aware of the need for the backpacks," Newcomb explained.
Backpack Donation Drop Off Location
Items can be dropped of at the Cedar Grove Library's indoor collection bin or directly to Newcomb's home:
"For most of us," Newcomb expressed, "a new backpack is part of back to school shopping, regardless of the condition of last year's.
Tricia Speidel Newcomb