WEST WARWICK — Incoming kindergarten students at John F. Horgan Elementary School were treated to new backpacks, notebooks and other school supplies last week courtesy of Rhode Island House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan and the National Foundation for Women Legislators in partnership with the Office Depot Foundation Backpack Program.
Morgan (R-Dist. 25 Coventry, Warwick, West Warwick) made a special visit to Horgan on Friday morning to pass out the supplies to some very thankful and excited soon-to-be kindergarteners in the district.
As a former teacher herself, she says she remembers all of the feelings that come with the first day of school, for both children and their parents.
“The first day of school is one of the most powerful, happy and nervous days of a child’s life,” Morgan said. “And I want to help make that day extra special for West Warwick students, some of whom are among the neediest families in our town.”
The National Foundation for Women Legislators has partnered with the Office Depot Foundation for 15 years now to implement its Backback Program across the country. The program grows each year with the steady increase of women participating in government, and last year 200,000 “sackpacks” were distributed around the country.
Morgan was given 150 backpacks for distribution this year through the organization, and personally purchased additional notebooks to go with them. The remaining backpacks will be distributed to other students in the school.
According to Horgan’s Principal, Nicole L’Etoile, who is going into her first year of leading the school, this summer the students participated in a “get-ready-for-school” program designed to help incoming kindergarteners make a smooth transition into academic life. West Warwick Director of Federal Programs and Innovation Keith Remillard led the effort to implement two additional “jump start” programs for incoming kindergarteners in the district with grant funding, meaning that the service is now offered at each elementary school. The students graduated the program on August 18.
“This is a perfect time to present them with their new backpacks, ready for the first day of school,” L’Etoile said. “We are thankful to Minority Leader Morgan for making this wonderful event a reality for our students, who I know will appreciate this great start to the school year.”
Morgan also imparted some wisdom on the group of youngsters: “You’re going to learn how to read and do math and write letters and stories and that’s going to open up your world. You’re going to have to work hard at it — it doesn’t come easy. You have to study hard, work hard every day and come to school everyday. If you do you’re going to have a great life and a bright future.”