People are continually asking how can I lead a Backpack Project in my community? Do I just need to secure a bunch of backpacks and hand them out to kids in need?
Though this is incredibly vital task that groups do to help their community the Backpack Project that we support actually entails and even larger commitment for volunteers and community groups and involves several steps, application and selection process.
The Backpack Projected supported by Umbrella Initiatives Foundation provides a week of creative and fun academic reinforcement for children from 5 to 12 years old and then the students who attend receive a backpack with all their school supplies that they will need to start the year.
To operate there are some simple but powerful steps:
Step 1: Passion to see a positive change in one’s community
Before even applying to operate the Project an individual must have a decided passion to help, motivate and to be an agent for change. The process begins when community members and groups realizing their inherent power from within to make meaningful changes in the community. Upon this self-realization and actualization then groups submit an application to Umbrella Initiatives in coordination with a local school. The application proposes where the project will take place and a ballpark amount of how many students are likely to participate.
Step 2: Develop an integrated plan
Working with local teachers and the school volunteer’s work to develop the plan of action and creative scholastic reinforcement. This is critical piece of the organizational phase as a few well-timed conversations with school principles and leaders can provide great insights into what are the needs of the students that will participate in the Backpack Project.
Step 3: Work with volunteers and Businesses
By catalyzing volunteers and local business, the project will provide even greater impact beyond the backpacks, supplies and other goods that Umbrella Initiatives provides.
Step 4: Backpack Project Begins!
These steps seem rather simplistic but groups spend several months planning and preparing for successful Backpack Projects, and their effort is paid off by seeing engaged students ready to learn and having fun.