MILWAUKEE -- On Thursday, September 5th each of the nearly 1,000 students at MPS' Allen-Field Elementary School on Milwaukee’s southside got new backpacks. Volunteers from T-Mobile provided the generous gift.
One-by-one, each of the students from K5 through fifth grade got pick out a brand new backpack to take home, in colors ranging from green, to blue, to red and yellow.
“With that many kids, we figured why just have one color for everybody? Let's have them stand out a little bit, choose their own style,” Wisconsin Marketing Manager Dave Schmidt said.
It was an effort appreciated by students and staff at the school.
“It's really awesome!” third-grader Elisa Velasco said.
“I used to have one with hearts and stars. It was purple and white. Now I’m going to use this one. I like it better,” third-grader Laila Lopez said.
The backpack giveaway was something that was needed at the school. With so many kids qualifying for the free and reduced lunch program, the backpacks represent one less item parents had to buy for this school year.
“One parent actually came up to me and was very grateful that she didn't need to buy a book bag -- that she knew one was coming today. She was very happy about that,” Allen-Field Principal Marybell Nieves-Harris said.
“We really wanted to make sure we were as impactful as possible with it, and this seemed to be the right school for it,” Schmidt said.
Now, these students are one step closer to having the right supplies to start the school year on the right foot.
“Just having the right equipment, the tools are so important not only for their confidence level, but also for their achievement level,” Nieves-Harris said.
This is the first time T-Mobile gave away 1,000 backpacks to a school in the state of Wisconsin. Because it went so well, the company plans to provide them again next year, along with school supplies.