School is Cool photos: CSU community delivers in helping PSD students

Photos by Joe A. Mendoza/CSU Photography

Nearly 200 volunteers took part in Colorado State University’s signature outreach effort to provide backpacks filled with school supplies for Poudre School District students.

Volunteers from CSU – faculty, staff, administrators and students – participated in the annual School is Cool program Aug. 2-4, ensuring students throughout the Poudre School District have the supplies to kick the school year off right.

In all, volunteers stuffed 2,729 bags — 1,775 backpacks and 954 supply bags — with essential school supplies, ranging from notebooks and pencils to calculators and headphones.

On Aug. 4, volunteers formed a packing brigade, loading the bags on a CSU bus and delivering the items to 29 pre-kindergarten and elementary schools in the PSD district. They also provided 123 packs to CSU’s Employee Assistance Program for distribution to CSU employees in need.

While the volunteer effort spans three days in August, coordination, fundraising and securing the supplies is a year-round effort. In the past 31 years, School is Cool has helped more than 53,000 children from low-income families. School is Cool was established in 1992 by retired CSU employee Kathy Phifer.

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.

Additionally, organizers wanted to recognize the following departments on campus for their support of School is Cool: Central Receiving, Facilities Management (recycling and motor pool for the vans and bus), Housing & Dining Services Bakeshop, Youth Sports Camps, Parking and Transportation Services, Safeway and longtime supporter and volunteer Ann Randall.