Friday, August 4, 2017 || By Shanel Romain || @maywoodnews
The students, teachers and administrators at Washington Dual Language Academy, 1111 Washington Blvd., received a van-load of supplies for the upcoming 2017-18 school year on Thursday.
Hillary Fash, the director of Enchanted Backpack, was on hand with boxes of books, markers, crayons, loose leaf spiral notebooks, winter coats, recess equipment, board games and playground balls, among other items.
Enchanted Backpack is a charitable organization that provides supplies for under-resourced elementary and middle schools in the Chicago area.
Hillary Fash, second from right, with students, employees and PTO members at Washington Dual Language Academy in Maywood on Aug. 3. | Shanel Romain/VFP
“We’re a brand new organization that started last September, so this is our first year serving schools,” Fash said during the Aug. 3 drop-off.
“In order to qualify for our program, at least 50 percent of a school’s student population must be eligible for free or reduced lunch.”
Fash added that Washington is one of only 10 pilot schools in the Chicago area to receive supplies from the organization during its inaugural year.
“We’re starting small and over the next couple of months before expanding,” Fash said.
Washington Principal Lourdes Perez said that Enchanted representatives presented their idea during a district meeting with administrators.
Fash said her organization worked with District 89 officials to organize a focus group with building principals in order to identify what items teachers need the most.
Washington Principal Lourdes Perez, far left, talks with Fash, far right, during an Aug. 3 school supply drop-off. | Shanel Romain/VFP
“We’re extremely grateful to be able to have connected with [Enchanted],” said Rev. Darryl Bass, the president of Washington’s PTO.
“Part of what we’re doing this year is taking away the myth that most people have about our school, which is that it’s only for Hispanic, or Spanish-speaking, students. That’s not true. We’re a 50/50 mix of Hispanic and African American [and other minority] students. This gift is a blessing to us.”
“Today is a very exciting day,” said Perez on Thursday. “We’re very fortunate to receive all of these gifts. Our students and teachers will be so excited about this. We’re very grateful.” VFP