Return to Headlines

Enchanted Backpack; Wilson School Become Adopt-a-School Partners

Chicago Heights School District 170's Wilson School has become an 'Adopt-a-School Partner' with the Enchanted Backpack organization receiving a $20,000 grant for use during the current school year.

The school plans to use the grant funds to build a playground for its students.

"We are extremely grateful that the Enchanted Backpack organization recognized our desire to create a safe learning environment that includes an outdoor play area that complements the learning taking place within the classrooms of Wilson School," said Principal Tony Banks.

"Our whole school extends its appreciation to Mrs. Lewis, Mrs. Steepleton, and Mrs. Jones for their teamwork in completing the application for supplies, as well as the grant application for the playground."

Enchanted Backpack is a Chicago-based charitable organization that serves under-resourced elementary and middle schools and child-focused organizations in the Chicagoland area.

According to its website, the organization's mission is to make a real difference in the lives of students and teachers by reinforcing key values and supporting the growth of better educated, principle-driven individuals.

The school began its relationship with Enchanted Backpack by submitting a grant application last year, seeking support in supplementing the building's classrooms.

That request resulted in the organization visiting Wilson School in June and bringing various supplies, books, area rugs, clothing, and additional items to use in classrooms.

After receiving that initial grant, the school submitted a second grant application to the organization seeking the $20,000 award for a major school project.

Enchanted Backpack received 50 applications for the grant before selecting Wilson School as one of two recipients of the concern's largesse and official recognition as an Enchanted Backpack Adopt-a-School Partner.

The school announced the receipt of the grant during an all-school assembly last week.

Representatives from Enchanted Backpack joined in the assembly and provided each of the school's students with a bag of treats, including a hat, towel, soccer ball, baseball, and cup.

"The children and staff were filled with emotions during the assembly, and were most appreciative of the generosity of the Enchanted Backpack organization," Lewis said.

Teachers and staff were unanimous in joining Lewis' excitement at receiving the grant.

"The staff and students were extremely excited to receive such a generous grant, and we are looking forward to watching the Wilson students enjoy the new playground for years to come," noted third-grade teacher Kristi Jones.

"The Wilson Family is so appreciative of the generosity Enchanted Backpack provided the students and staff," added Amy Steepleton, a primary-grades Special Education teacher.

"We are beyond excited about our new playground!"