The philanthropic organization Enchanted Backpack recently visited CHSD170's Greenbriar School to deliver supplies and materials to supplement the school and classroom environments.
According to its website, Enchanted Backpack is a Chicago-based charitable organization started over 50-years ago by the Lavin Family Foundation. The Lavin' family, founders of the Alberto Culver Company, fund groups working in health care, education, and programs designed to better family life. It serves under-resourced elementary and middle schools and child-focused organizations in the Chicagoland area.
The organization believes that all children deserve the tools they need to learn and excel and that all teachers deserve to have the support and materials to make their classrooms exciting learning centers.
Today Enchanted Backpack is directed by the second and third family generations and, working under the banner of "Innovative Philanthropy at Work" has continued and deepened that focus while creating new, entrepreneurial initiatives that extend its passion reach beyond traditional funding channels.
The Enchanted Backpack – Greenbriar School partnership began in January when Anne Contreras, the school's ESL Lead Teacher, contacted the organization and applied for funding.
The process continued in March as Contreras and Greenbriar Principal Joe Taylor took part in a Zoom meeting with the organization.
A month later, the school received word from Hillary Fash, Enchanted Backpack's Director, confirming that Greenbriar would receive donations totaling over $9,000. The offerings included books, recess equipment, school supplies, other consumables, clothing items, and shoes for students and their families.
On April 26th, two "Enchanted Backpack-mobile" vans delivered the donations to the school.
Contreras and Taylor were excited about distributing the Enchanted Backpack contributions to recognize the hard work offered by students, teachers, and staff.
"Teachers were able to select many books to use in their classroom libraries, and a variety of books made their way to our school library," said Contreras.
"Other books were given to students as part of our summer reading program and will be dispersed in the fall at our school Open House."
Taylor expounded upon Enchanted Backpack's generosity, saying, "Teachers received supplies they used to finish out the school year like scissors, glue, Expo Markers, board games, and more."
"Teachers and staff will use the supplies that remain for Summer school and on into the 2022-23 school year."
"We used many of the new sports balls for our field day on May 31st, and now each teacher will be able to have them for recess," he concluded.