Pandemic has raised need for more help from School is Cool

School is Cool markSchool is Cool, Colorado State University’s iconic outreach program, has been providing backpacks and high-quality school supplies to less-fortunate students in the Poudre School District for the past 28 years.

Now, with the COVID-19 pandemic creating hardships for many families, the need is greater than ever heading into the 2020-21 school year. Hundreds of additional students are in need of backpacks and school supplies – the tools necessary to succeed. PSD has requested that CSU provide another 300 backpacks this year – pushing the total provided to more than 2,800.

Rams helping Rams

And that’s not all. For the first time in the program’s history, School is Cool will provide supplies for CSU students in need. As a result, this all-volunteer, privately funded program needs help to fulfill its important mission.

“In all the years we’ve been doing School is Cool, we’ve never faced a greater challenge when it comes to giving students in our community the best chance to succeed in school,” said School is Cool founder Kathy Phifer. “We have greater need in our K-12 schools than we’ve ever seen, and the request to help our own students at CSU is new. As a result, we’re hoping our very special donors, who have provided incredible support in the past, can help us meet this challenge.”

School is Cool – the organization is unveiling a new identity mark this year – has provided nearly 50,000 backpacks filled with grade-appropriate, high-quality school supplies since its debut in 1992. After distributing 66 backpacks that first year, a team of volunteers now provides more than 2,500 backpacks annually to more than 20 elementary schools and each middle and high school in PSD.

Funding needed to meet greater need

Funding has always come from the community. The Bohemian Foundation and the CSU Bookstore are major sponsors, but the greatest support comes from the CSU community – faculty and staff, alumni, students and donors.

School is Cool 2020 markAnd providing supplies – including paper, pens, markers, hand sanitizer and even a CSU-themed face mask – for CSU students gives supporters a unique opportunity: a chance for Rams to help Rams.

“We’re excited to be able to help some of our own students in these challenging times,” Phifer said.

A donation of just $25 purchases and fills a backpack with supplies. Donating online is easy.