By the Numbers
• Alton, 44 • Barrington, 25 • Conway • Dover, 88 • Eliot, 34 • Exeter, 56 • Hampton, 42 • Kittery, 95 • Milton, 28 • Nashua, 26 • New Durham, 10 • Northwood-Nottingham, 18 • Oyster River (Lee, Madbury, Durham) • Portsmouth, 103 • Rollinsford, 4 • Somersworth, 102 • Vacaville • York, 31•
Contact our Town Organizers
|Oyster River (Durham,
What our teachers are saying!
From Dover School 1 ~
The child in my room definitely looks forward to the Friday backpack. While she may forget other things, that backpack is important to her and tops her list of priorities. It is a valuable program, and I am glad that we have adopted it at our school. Thank you for your extra efforts in making our school a place where children can feel their needs are important.
Homework for me is coming in more often, the beginnings of his week and end of the week more positive than before. Both “S” and “J” on Friday afternoons are very focused on what time to go down, any change in their schedule they worry about how that will effect this. “J” who can sometimes be a behavioral problem due to his emotions on Friday afternoon after being in this program are virtually gone (I think it because he has something to look forward to). He is not shy about being part of this program. Last Friday he came back up with his backpack and was telling his friends about it and practically bragging about how heavy the bag was (his friends did not know exactly how to react, but they quickly moved past it). “S” is more removed about being a part of the program when it comes to his peers and bringing his backpack down and back but you can tell he is really grateful for it. Anything I can do to help this program please do not hesitate to ask.
I have three kids in the program and they all have problems with attendance. They always come to school to pick up their food for the weekend. On the days that they return the empty backpack their attendance is not as strong. I feel a sense of frustration when they manage to show up on the day they receive the food, but their attendance for the rest of the week is spotty. I’m not sure I see any more motivation because of the three kids that are participating. It would be interesting to talk to the parents to see how they perceive the program is working.
I’m not sure that I can say I see increased learning or motivation in the classroom, but I will say that the kids are very serious about the program. The kids I have who get the backpacks typically lose everything, are totally scattered, but they always come in Mondays with those backpacks. It indicates to me that the program is important to them if they take the time to keep track of the backpacks Hope that helps!
From Dover ~School 2
I haven’t seen a great deal of increase in attendance, motivation, etc, however I think there is a sense of pride from some of the children that they are able to help their family out even though they are not necessary buying the food…they are bringing it home to them. Hopefully that makes sense.
This is a great program and I am sure there are many more families that could benefit from it. Wish I could add more stories and hopefully this helps.
It’s a great program and my student is excited at the end of every week for his extra backpack!
I haven’t heard any specific stories from kids or families, but I know that the kids are always excited to receive their backpack and take it home, they really look forward to getting it. It has also helped with just general responsibility because we have not once had a bag not be returned. That shows how much it means to the kids that they feel it’s important to return the bags each week so it will be filled again. As a teacher I really appreciate having this resource for these kids!
From Dover ~School 3
One thing I have noticed is that the students have become more responsible in coming in/returning the backpacks on their own without reminders – this is an indication that the program is important to them and/or their families (not always responsible in getting their homework in). Also, a few of the students have mentioned that ‘the backpacks are helping their families a lot.’
From Somersworth ~
Yes, the children got their back packs. I went around and privately explained what the back pack was. Some were expecting them today because they had talked about it at home. Others were pleasantly surprised. The teacher of a third grade girl stopped in to tell me I made her day. She was so excited about taking home the food. This is a little one that threw up on the bus because her tummy was so empty. Her sister in kindergarten cried one day because she did not want to go home because there was no food. A boy in second grade said thank you because they had some food but not much. This program is a blessing! I put an 8×11 note in each back pack reminding them to bring back the back pack on Monday and to drop it off at the nurse’s office.
From Kittery ~
We looked through the backpack and explored what was inside (“Yum! I love tuna fish!”). We practiced wearing the backpack so they were familiar with how heavy they were before going home on the bus. I asked them to be patient and wait until they were in their homes to open the backpack up again. (ie. no snacking on the bus…) I told them to return the empty backpack to my room on Monday so it could be refilled. And I answered any questions they might have.
I wish you could have seen the look on their faces. I am so incredibly thankful to all of you who are making this happen.