Kids of all ages gathered on August 10, 2015 for the Back 2 School Party at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library. While this event was an end of the summer and back to school kick off, this event was the wrap up of a community effort spear headed by the Library to collect back packs for low income students. The collection began on July 7th and has been a resounding success.
Bree Hankin of Springfield’s District 186 was on hand at noon when the donation was awarded. Hankins said, “We are excited, we are so thrilled with the community support. We want to thank the Abraham Lincoln Museum the collection far exceeded expectations.”
In the beginning, organizers hoped to collect 300 backpacks. The number was met and more, at the last count the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum (ALPLM) had 706 back packs that had been donated for students that might not otherwise be able to afford them. The back packs were placed in a huge pile that offered a symbolic view of just how many had been collected. The backpacks were donated to Springfield School District Monday. Individual schools and parent educators in District 186 will help divvy out the backpacks to low-income students, based on need and requests.
Because of the collection, when school starts Aug. 24th. Clare Thorpe Guest Service Manager at the museum said that the bulk of the donations had come from both staff members and the community. “Last Wednesday, July 29, 2015 we teamed up with WICS Channel 20 and had a drive through back pack drop off. We had 143 back packs donated then. This has been a great partnership.”
WICS Channel 20 reported that the Springfield School District 186 has over 60 percent of students during the 2013 – 2014 academic year cited as being eligible for services because they qualify as low-income families, according to a report from IllinoisReportCard.com.
Parents interested in having their child receive a backpack should contact their child’s school, ask to speak to the secretary, and inquire about becoming a recipient.
As an added incentive, any one backpack donated was equal to one voucher for admission into the ALPLM. The deadline to use it is by the end of the year.
This back to school party from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., was also a day of fun for the kids that came to celebrate the last days of summer. The day included a series of fun events for the kiddos to enjoy before heading back to the classroom. Activities included; cheer tumbling, self-defense, ballet, crafts, book exchange, three different games, face painting, and of course dancing with glow stick necklaces.
This event was part of the ten year anniversary. The ALPLM has been open for over 9 years now and more than three million visitors have walked through their doors. Log onto the website www.presidentlincoln.illinois.gov for more information. There is always something new going on at the museum and library so be sure to check out the events to see what is new and different.