BRTC’s Future Educators Association at both Pocahontas and Paragould campuses has been participating in “Backpacks for Kids” as their community service project. Students on the Paragould campus participated through the project organized at Greene County Tech Schools in Paragould, according to Daphne Perkins, FEA advisor at Paragould. While students on the Pocahontas campus participated through the project organized at Corning Park Elementary in Corning, according to Lisa Jackson, FEA advisor at Pocahontas.
“Backpacks for Kids” was organized through the Arkansas Foodbank and operates sites throughout the state. Through these sites, more than 1,000 underserved children each month are provided with food for the weekends and school holidays. At the end of each week children involved in the program pick up a backpack of food and other necessities to take home. The backpacks are inconspicuous and previously prepared by volunteers. They are filled with nutritious, child-friendly items that are easy for young ones to prepare.
Throughout the month of October, the FEA groups collected food and other needed items to donate to their respective Backpack Projects. “The local Food Pantry was bare,” said Kelly Crouse, FEA member who helped lead the drive on the Paragould campus. “The Backpack Project is so moving. It’s amazing what the school is doing for these families.”
Greene County Tech serves approximately 160 families. The group collected and delivered to the school 35 coats, 120 canned items, and a few packages of underwear/panties. “FEA members even washed the coats and put them on hangers before delivering to the school,” Crouse added.
The FEA group on the Pocahontas campus collected 587 food and toiletry items along with pencils, erasers and a coat for the Corning School.
“Each semester, FEA will select a different school in our area as the focus of a service project,” said Jackson. “As future educators, our members want to reach out to local schools to assist them in a variety of ways.” Hoxie School has already been chosen for next semester.
“We would like to thank everyone that contributed to this effort,” both Jackson and Perkins added. “You are the ones that made the project so successful, and we appreciate your generous donations.”
For more information on FEA or their community service projects, contact Lisa Jackson on the Pocahontas campus at 870-248-4000, or Daphne Perkins on the Paragould campus at 870-239-0969.