“Backpack to School” Donation Drive Brings Hope to Yonkers Students

Young learners from across Yonkers are preparing to start their new academic year on September 7th, and the 12th Annual “Backpack to School” Donation Drive is bringing hope and opportunity to students in need.

Mayor Mike Spano announced on Wednesday that donations are currently being accepted for backpacks filled with school supplies—an initiative created to help ensure that every child in Yonkers has access to the tools they need for a successful school year.

Mayor Spano expressed his enthusiasm for the program, and acknowledged the importance of helping children in our community achieve their academic goals.

Our children’s education is our collective responsibility,” Mayor Spano stated.

By providing them with the resources they require, we empower them to achieve their academic dreams. The rising costs of school supplies have created a challenge for many families, and it’s our duty to support them.

According to the latest survey conducted by the National Retail Federation (NRF) in 2022, families with children in grades K-12 were projected to spend an average of $864 on school supplies, marking a $16 increase over 2021.

In a statement, interim Superintendent of Schools Dr. Luis Rodriguez recognized the financial strain that back-to-school expenses can put on families, especially those with multiple school-age children.

The burden of these costs can dampen the excitement of returning to school for our students,” he shared. “Mayor Spano’s ‘Backpack to School’ Drive alleviates this burden, allowing families and students to embrace the upcoming school year with renewed enthusiasm. It’s a testament to generosity and good citizenship.”

Backpacks of school supplies can be dropped off until Sunday, August 20th at these designated locations:

Yonkers City Hall – 40 South Broadway (Lobby) [Until Friday, August 18th]

Yonkers Riverfront Library – 1 Larkin Center

Grinton I. Will Library – 1500 Central Park Avenue

Crestwood Library – 16 Thompson Street

All four Yonkers Police Precincts

  • PCT 1 – 730 E. Grassy Sprain Road
  • PCT 2 – 441 Central Park Avenue
  • PCT 3 – 435 Riverdale Avenue
  • PCT 4 – 53 Shonnard Place

Suggested donations include new backpacks filled with the following school supplies:

  • #2 pencils
  • Colored pencils
  • Composition Books
  • Crayons
  • Glue sticks or Elmer’s glue
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Loose-leaf paper
  • Masks/Face coverings
  • Pencil pouches
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Pink erasers
  • Pocket folders
  • Rulers
  • Tissue Packets
  • Washable markers

The donations will be distributed to a Pre-K – 8 school selected by Yonkers Public Schools. For more information visit www.yonkersny.gov/backpack or contact the Mayor’s Office at 914-377-6300.

The tradition of filling backpacks with school supplies for children is often attributed to Operation Backpack, an initiative launched by Volunteers of America-Greater New York in 2003. This effort aimed to provide essential school supplies to children in homeless and domestic violence shelters, and it has since inspired similar programs worldwide, such as Yonkers’ “Backpack to School” Donation Drive.

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