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United Way of Fresno County

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- Comcast and United Way team up to Support Fresno Unified Students

250 backpacks filled with supplies to benefit students at 10 schools and the Project Access program

FRESNO – The 2012-2013 academic year is nearing the one month mark, and sadly, many students still are struggling to find necessary supplies from one week to another.  A number of organizations have generously offered their support by donating backpacks, school supplies and gift cards to help students get the year off to a good start.  Now, the United Way of Fresno County and Comcast are lending a helping hand.

Students at 10 Fresno Unified Title 1 schools and the Project Access program will receive one of 250 backpacks stuffed with school supplies.  Principals at the schools worked with site staff to identify those students who are most in need.  Over 83% of Fresno Unified’s students qualify for free and reduced price meals, making donations like this a tremendous support for their academic success and their over-all sense of confidence as they proceed through the school year.

“I recently told a group of business and community leaders that many students don’t eat a meal from the time they leave school on a Friday to the time they return to school the following Monday and they were shocked.  But, it’s the reality for many of our kids.  They’re living in the midst of a level of financial strain that many of us couldn’t fathom. Many thanks to the United Way and Comcast for this very generous donation,” stated Fresno Unified Superintendent, Michael Hanson.

Comcast provided the funding for the backpacks and supplies and the United Way of Fresno County facilitated the partnership between Fresno Unified and Comcast. 

"It's partnerships like this, between Comcast, United Way and Fresno Unified School District that allows us to make a positive difference in a child's education," said Jack Hall, Director of Government Affairs for Comcast.

“United Way of Fresno County really enjoyed partnering with Comcast to bring these 250 additional backpacks to local schools that are most in need,” said R. Michael Alexander, President & CEO of United Way of Fresno County. “United Way’s mission is to improve the quality of lives in our community, and this is just one great example of how our community is coming together to support area school children. By having the school supplies necessary for the classroom, it gives these students the ability to achieve their full academic potential.”

Twenty students at the schools below received backpacks and 50 students who are a part of Fresno Unified’s Project Access program each received one as well.

  1. Susan B. Anthony Elementary
  2. Ezequiel A. Balderas Elementary
  3. Miguel Hidalgo Elementary
  4. Frank Lane Elementary
  5. Ann M. Leavenworth Elementary
  6. Mayfair Elementary
  7. Scandinavian Middle
  8. Tehipite Middle
  9. Webster Elementary
  10. Wolters Elementary

Fresno Unified’s Graduation Task Force, a community-based group of teachers, students, community and business leaders and other stakeholders, delivered over 100 recommendations to the District’s Board of Education in July regarding ways to stem the tide of drop-outs.  One of the recommendations included a need for greater support from the community.  Generous donations like this can mean the difference between success and failure for many students.

Fresno Unified, the 4th largest school district in the state of California, works to educate more than 73,000 children in the city of Fresno each year.     

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