Community helps students prepare for school with backpacks, encouragement

Students throughout Kentuckiana are heading back to school... and there are a number of organizations and volunteers making sure they have everything they need to succeed.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS) -- It's been years since Councilwoman Mary Woolridge has been in school, but the back-to-school memories are still fresh on her mind.

"It was like you had on your new shoes and your new dress and you had a pretty hairdo, and you just thought you were all of that," she said.

While Woolridge isn't planning on heading back to the classroom, she is making sure the children who will be this week are starting the school year off on the right track.

"Go to school, listen to your teacher, study hard, be the best you can be, and that's all we expect of you," she said. "And we'll be there for you."

But Woolridge that others are not just offering advice. This Saturday at the annual community Unity and Back to School Festival in Algonquin Park, Woolridge and other volunteers gave out 500 backpacks filled with school supplies to students, just one of the many backpack giveaways in the community.

"That will make them feel good about themselves," Woolridge said. "And when you feel good about yourself, nothing or nobody can change that, and that is what we try to do today."

Another group of volunteers giving away backpacks Saturday afternoon did so in honor of a child who won't be going back to school. Dequante Hobbs Jr. would have been starting the second grade this week. He was shot and killed at his home earlier this summer. Family and friends gave away school supplies and backpacks, encouraging students to stay in school and to stay out of trouble.

"Help children grow in such a positive way that the negativity will not be the first thing that is in their mindset," Christopher 2X with Hood2Hood said at the giveaway.

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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