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Posted by: thepinetree on 06/10/2022 12:30 PM Updated by: thepinetree on 06/12/2022 08:48 PM
Expires: 01/01/2027 12:00 AM

Calaveras County Students Gifted with ‘You Matter’ Backpacks Just in Time for Summer Break

Calaveras County, CA...A total of 2,436 ‘You Matter’ backpacks are being distributed through schools to students in grades TK-5th (some 6th), packed with essentials and goodies. These backpacks mark the first year of this new partnered program. Headed up by the Calaveras-Mariposa Community Action Agency (CMCAA), the hope is to continue the ‘You Matter’ program each year moving forward.

Partners in this venture include the CMCAA, Calaveras County Office of Education (CCOE), Calaveras Public Health Dept. (CDHP), Calaveras Health & Human Services Agency (CHHSA), First 5 Calaveras, and Dignity Health. Serving the needs of all youth in Calaveras and Mariposa counties became a collective goal in the wake of the pandemic. Funds for this project were made available through the CSBG (Community Services Block Grant) and the Operation Comfort & CARE Program which provides non-food essential supplies to those in need. In addition to these funds, donations from Dignity Health helped provide the water bottles, CDHD donated dental kits, and First 5 donated story books.

The ‘You Matter” backpacks were loaded with goodies including: story books, dental kits, giant chalk, watercolors, colored pencils, silly putty, wristbands that say ‘You Matter’, bubbles, water bottles, fidget poppers, Frisbees, light up balls, giant smiley face stickers, and a journal.

“This project has been a labor of love,” said Staci Johnston, CMCAA Executive Director. “The ‘You Matter’ project was made possible through great community collaboration,” Johnston added. “We realized that we needed to serve all the youth in the county and our hope is to continue the ‘You Matter’ program, although it may look different each year as we focus our efforts on providing uplifting and encouraging opportunities to all children in TK-12th grades.”

Calaveras County Superintendent of Schools Scott Nanik added, “The collaborating partners felt that many students were struggling to reconnect after COVID-19. These backpacks provide smiles for the students.”

Many volunteers spent hours stuffing each backpack with goodies selected to bring youth fun activities and ways to enjoy their summer break. The goal is to help every student realize that they matter.

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