Each year, Running Strong provides thousands of backpacks to elementary and junior high students on Pine Ridge and Cheyenne River Indian reservations, and beyond.
This year will be no different.
There are students who attend the St. Francis Indian School (SFIS) on the Rosebud Sioux Tribe Reservation in South Dakota who lack access to essential items such as the backpacks and school supplies required for school.
Thanks to our supporters, Running Strong for American Indian Youth® was able to provide our 2017 Dreamstarter Caitlin Bordeaux, a SFIS computer teacher, with 200 backpacks filled with school supplies last year.
“The whole school community at St. Francis Indian School were so thankful to have these backpacks,” reported Caitlin, in particular because the school year had begun without a principal in place, so the supply budget was frozen and none of the teachers were able to buy school supplies for their students.
“A lot of our students (about 550 in grades K-12) come from low-income households with multiple siblings so families don’t have a lot of money to buy new supplies,” she told us.
Shelby Little Shield, a member of the SFIS student council, was among the volunteers who helped distribute the Running Strong “StudyStrong” backpacks last year.
“I thought it was so cool that all the students were welcomed back to school with a new backpack and school supplies,” she told us. “It’s a nice way to start the school year.”
As for Caitlin, “Thanks to Running Strong, our students were able to start their school year off strong and prepared.
“Pilamaya ye (thank you) Running Strong for giving these deserving students these wonderful backpacks!”
This year, we will be able to provide 5,000 students with backpacks filled with school supplies. Because we purchase the backpacks and supplies in large quantities, we are able to buy them at less than $10 for an elementary student and less than $20 for a middle school student.