Cambridge Elementary Principal Lourdes Beleche from Concord announced that the educational establishment will give its students new school supplies as they expect in-person classes to resume on August 12.

Beleche said that while she and her staff were excited to once again greet students with a welcome back to school, they were aware of the struggles that families are facing amid the coronavirus pandemic. “Our families are recovering from what happened throughout [COVID-19] in terms of job loss, in terms of illness,” she said.

Donated School Supplies

At Cambridge, 94.4% of students are considered socioeconomically disadvantaged, forcing Beleche to acknowledge that the COVID-19 health crisis worsened the struggles that many students and their families were already going through. “A lot of our students and our families are in situations where money maybe doesn’t flow in as easily as in other areas, so there’s a need, there’s a need for support with school supplies for our kids,” the principal said.

The donated supplies that Cambridge students will receive are already in their third year of pushing through. The Family Giving Tree’s Back to School Drive is giving away the donated backpacks to enrolled students coming into the school year.

“Every kid is happy because they get a backpack. That backpack belongs to them and it’s theirs. That eliminates that sense of feeling unprepared on the first day of school and also feeling like you don’t have enough, you know, compared to the other kids,” Beleche said while smiling. The principal noted the backpacks give students a confidence boost that they have what they need to study properly, NBC Bay Area reported.

Since two years ago, Cambridge Elementary has received donated backpacks that were distributed to its approximately 530 students. But Family Giving Tree is expecting that there would be fewer backpacks this year due to the coronavirus pandemic hindering normal fundraising efforts.