Centro Cultural wants to help students by providing school supplies

Acquiring the most basic school supplies is something that doesn’t come easy for all school children. The folks at Centro Cultural’s community center in Cornelius is aiming to make sure at least 200 students have the supplies they need for fall classes.

Families in need can preregister for Centro’s first-ever backpack giveaway from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 29.

“Each family will receive a passport and stop by different booths to get a backpack,” said Sarah Jaquez, outreach coordinator for the center. “They will gain information about classes, resources and programs different nonprofits have to offer.”

Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center officials will talk about their clinic and services they offer. Personnel from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office will hand out safety information. And representatives from the Oregon Law Center will provide information about its farm workers program. Community Action and 211 Info will also host booths.

After perusing the resource booths, two children per family can get a backpack specifically tailored to their grade level, said Jaquez.

The packs are for students in first through 12th grade. Depending on their grade, they’ll receive pencils, colored crayons, notebooks, binder paper and other supplies. The center has a maximum of 200 backpacks to give away.

“This is the last backpack giveaway of the month,” said Jaquez.

She already has 50 applications for backpacks, but that means the center can help 150 more students.

To preregister, a parent or guardian must come to Centro Cultural, 1110 N. Adair St. in Cornelius, show their child’s student ID card or report card and fill out a brief application. The preregistration deadline is Friday, Aug. 23.

Donations to support the giveaway are encouraged, said Jaquez. Drop off supplies at the center or donate over the phone by calling 503-359-0446. The donation deadline is also Aug. 23.

In the past, Jaquez said Centro has helped with a backpack giveaway at M&M Market in Hillsboro.

“We decided to have a separate event,” she said.

The center hosts close to 75 students for summer camp every day.

“That’s when we realized that a lot of these kids didn’t have supplies for the school year,” said Jaquez. “We’re going to change that.”

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