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Backpack to the Future

Backpack to the Future Project Summary

The Owens Community College Alumni Association is sponsoring, for the 13th year, a unique community service project called "Backpack to the Future." Last year, through the generosity of our students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members, we collected 565 backpacks and more than 9,900 school supply items that were donated to students at 21 area elementary schools in Lucas, Wood and Hancock counties.

During summer months, we collect backpacks (gently-used or new) and school supplies that will be given to upcoming kindergarten-age students who need assistance in obtaining the needed supplies. Our goal is to help young students start off on the right foot that will add to their long-term achievement.

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Presentation of Supplies

In September, our Backpack team visits the selected schools with backpacks and supplies that are presented to the entire kindergarten class. In a mini 30-minute assembly, the Owens Alumni Association people explain the project, emphasize the importance of learning and working hard, and plant the seed that Owens Community College looks forward to seeing them in the future as potential college students.

We ask each school to select 5-6 "class representatives" to come in front of the group, try on a backpack, have their picture taken and accept the supplies on behalf of the entire group. All supplies are left for the school to determine who has need and to handle distribution. All students receive a Backpack to the Future water bottle.

Program Success

Since the Backpack campaign began in 2004, 4,513 backpacks and more than 80,911 pieces of school supplies have been distributed to more than 166 kindergarten classes across Northwest Ohio.

Supplies List

  • Backpack -- new or gently used
  • Crayons -- 16 or 24 count
  • Markers -- primary colors
  • Elmer's 4 oz. Bottle of glue
  • Elmer's Glue sticks
  • Box of colored pencils
  • #2 yellow pencils
  • Pink erasers
  • School boxes
  • Pocket folders
  • Marbled covered composition books -- (70 or 100-page journals)
  • Kleenex tissues

Donate Online!

The Owens Community College's website provides a secure portal to make monetary donations. All donations are used to purchase backpacks and school supplies. A donation of $10 will buy all the usable supplies. A donation of $20 will buy all of the supplies including the backpack.

If you have questions regarding the project or would like to participate in a community drive, please call the Alumni Office at (567) 661-7876 or email alumni@owens.edu.

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