Education Matters: Businesses Provide Hundreds of Back to School Backpacks

JACKSONVILLE, AR - One business is challenging other local businesses to give back, backpacks that is, to ensure students have the right tools to succeed in school.

And the pile of backpacks at Jacksonville Middle School is slowly getting smaller, that's because students have been coming by picking up their free gifts all week thanks to a local business.

"Our company decided that we'd try and make a difference, and the best way to do is to start with young people," said Steven Pawloski, owner of Arkansas Office Products.

He started his backpack program back in 2011 only donating to one school, now after challenging other businesses, 400 backpacks were given away.

"We're gonna hit all three school districts this year and we hope to continue that to grow," added Pawloksi.

Zondria Campbell, a counselor at Jacksonville Middle School, sees the need and says a few students were even there when the backpacks arrived and were very excited!

"I want a backpack, and they're nice looking backpacks so it's something they can be proud of, and we want to build a confidence of our students so they can feel successful, you know before you can reach the child in the classroom they have to feel like I'm somebody," said Campbell.

Owning a supply store, Pawloski knows how important it is for businesses to have the tools needed to get their job done, “We're asking kids to go to the classroom that's their job for right now and you got to have the right tools so you need pencils, and paper and crayons," said Pawloski.

Essentials needed that he says won't change the world, but can change a child's life, one backpack at a time!

If you own a business and would like to become apart of the backpack program, just call Arkansas Office Products in Jacksonville.

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