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Students donate backpacks and supplies to support local schoolchildren
Students donate backpacks and supplies to support local schoolchildrenApril 27, 2007Eileen Jevisejevis@uc.syr.edu
Syracuse University’s University College, along with other SU schools and colleges, is joining dozens of local organizations in collecting backpacks and school supplies to support Mary Nelson’s Sixth annual Youth Day Barbecue. The Aug. 18 event will bring city families and neighborhoods together for a day of fun and celebration to promote education and reduce youth violence. Nelson created the program to help local children prepare for the school year by collecting school supplies, backpacks, books and computers, all of which are distributed to schoolchildren at the barbecue.
University College and other schools and colleges throughout the SU campus are collaborating in a major donation campaign. Flyers have been distributed to residence halls, fraternity and sorority houses and other public drop-off locations asking students to donate new or gently used backpacks, school supplies and books for children from pre-K through college. Drop off begins Monday, April 30, at the following locations on campus: the Hildegarde and J. Myer Schine Student Center; University College; fraternity and sorority houses; Goldstein Student Center; Skyhall 2; North Campus residence halls; and Steele Hall.
Nelson established the Youth Day Barbecue in an effort to focus on reducing youth violence in her neighborhood. The day-long event draws thousands of schoolchildren and families to the corner of South Salina St. and Wood Ave. as the summer draws to a close to highlight alternatives to youth violence and celebrate the children’s return to school.
“I woke up one morning and decided that I wanted to do something about the violence affecting children in my community,” recalls Nelson. The first barbecue drew about 850 neighborhood residents. Last year, that number had grown to 5,000. “Our youth look to us role models and I feel this support should start from the home,” says Nelson. “You may think they are not paying attention, but they do model our behavior. Therefore, my goal is to help our youth understand the importance of a good education.”
This year’s Youth Day Barbecue will be held on Saturday, Aug. 18, from 11 a.m.-6 p.m., with a youth parade beginning at 11 a.m. Volunteers are needed to help with the barbecue and donations of food and/or school supplies will be accepted. For information on volunteering, contact Nelson at (315) 403-0220, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website: http://www.youthdaybarbecue.com.