School Is Cool needs your help

Colorado State University’s signature outreach effort to provide backpacks filled with school supplies to Poudre School District students needs your help.

With prices expected to continue to rise, School Is Cool organizers are seeking volunteers and donations to assist with this annual tradition that started in 1992. In the past 31 years, School Is Cool has helped more than 53,000 children from low-income families. Last year, the program assisted 2,687 students in 47 schools.

The community outreach program is managed and organized by CSU employees, with major funding coming from the University community and the Bohemian Foundation, as well as significant support from the CSU Bookstore.

How to show your support

School Is Cool is encouraging the CSU community — faculty and staff, alumni, students and friends — to donate money and/or time to the cause. A donation of $30 purchases a backpack and the supplies to fill it. Additionally, it’s not too early to sign up to volunteer some time to stuff those backpacks full of the tools for classroom success. Volunteers are needed all day in 222 Johnson Hall on Aug. 2 (supplies organization), Aug. 3 for stuffing, and Aug. 4 for delivery to schools in two-hour shifts.

Donate at

Sign up to volunteer at

“Every child deserves to have the materials they need to succeed in the classroom, and with a School Is Cool backpack filled with new school supplies, students whose families are facing financial insecurity can start the year out with what they need,” said Maggie Walsh, director of institutional initiatives. “We are so grateful to our partners, donors and CSU volunteers who serve our community through School Is Cool and make a profound difference in the lives of our children.”

School Is Cool
employee impact

 School Is Cool was established by retired CSU employee Kathy Phifer 31 years ago. In its first year, 63 backpacks were filled. Since then:


students served since 1992


PSD schools served with backpacks and supplies in 2021


students served by SIC in 2021


individual donors gave to SIC in 2021


volunteers in 2021