PWNA’s Annual Backpack Drive: You Can Make All The Difference

August is National Back-to-School Month and families are preparing their shopping lists with all they need for the new school year. However, many families who reside in reservation communities do not have the means to purchase even basic supplies, such as paper and pencils.

PWNA’s annual Backpack Drive helps ensure students in the tribal communities they serve have backpacks, pencils, notebooks and other items for their first day in the classroom. The drive is hosted by the American Indian Education Fund, a PWNA program that focuses on improving education opportunities and retention, from kindergarten to college.

School supplies are essential to a student’s learning and success, but with nearly two-thirds of Native American children living in impoverished or low-income households, it’s no surprise these items are inaccessible for parents whose budgets are already stretched incredibly thin. In addition, barely half of the students who attend schools led by the Bureau of Indian Education graduate from high school, compared to the national 88% graduation rate, so every advantage counts. 

The Backpack Drive is running through Sept. 30 and our hope is to equip more than 15,000 K-12 students with backpacks and essentials as they head back to school this year, many in person for the first time since school closed last spring. The backpacks will be distributed to students at 65 schools across our service area. The distributions will be coordinated by our school partners to coincide with registration and fall enrollment.

For more on how PWNA is helping to break the cycle of poverty through education, or to donate, visit Your support is much needed and appreciated!

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