Over 2,000 free backpacks given away at SeaTac Back to School Fair Thursday

Over 2,000 FREE backpacks filled with 
school supplies were given away to kids on Thursday (Aug. 15) during the City of SeaTac’s 7th annual Back to School Fair held at Valley Ridge Park.

This annual event provides SeaTac families with a fun, safe and supportive environment to ensure their children receive the proper vision, nutrition, medical, dental and academic resources they need to be ready for school.

The BTSF was started seven years ago by SeaTac community leaders who were concerned that many SeaTac families face financial barriers when preparing their children for the new school year. The vision of the BTSF committee is to build support in the community that strengthens families and enhances the academic success of underserved youth. The outcomes for the event are to provide students the necessary school supplies to start school ready-for-success.

“The BTSF is a great way to ensure those students who are in the most need, receive the necessary supplies so that they can start the school year off right,” said Tony Anderson, City of SeaTac Mayor. “This is a wonderful event and something that SeaTac families look forward to every year,” added Brandt-Schluter.

While SeaTac is a city rich in diversity and culture, it continually ranks among cities with the highest poor health indicators, along with the third-lowest household income in King County – with many families living below the poverty level .

The Back to School Fair has become a high profile community event because service providers have learned that when it comes to delivering services, it no longer pays to do it alone. Local organizations, agencies, and businesses have come together to leverage our resources, reduce family anxiety and build community support for the greater good of our families.

This year the BTSF committee and volunteers are distributing nearly 3,000 backpacks filled with school supplies. With help from their sponsors and other community organizations, they are also providing many important resources to SeaTac families.

For example:

  • Thanks to funding from Comcast in partnership with Highline Schools Foundation, an Internet tent is available complete with laptops, free internet service and volunteers to help families navigate district resources online. Families will be guided through how to access grades, lunch menus, calendars and gain other knowledge through the district’s new website at www.highlineschools.org.
  • United Health Care is at the fair with information on the important changes that will be coming when the new healthcare law takes effect. They also have their mascot and a Wii Fit on hand to provide some entertainment.
  • Elmo took a trip away from Sesame Street for the day to greet kids and get them excited about the upcoming school year.
  • The Gene Juarez Academy is also at the BTSF and has 10 enthusiastic students available to provide kids with free haircuts.
  • Another great resource is a free dental check-up provided by the organization Kids Cavity Prevention. And many other fantastic non-profits providing plenty of information and resources to families in the SeaTac community.

The BTSF committee is truly thankful to all of their sponsors, volunteers, and fair participants who are making the 7th Annual BTSF a huge success. The committee hopes to continue growing the fair while remaining faithful to the vision of ensuring all students are ready to start to school year off right. Given the success of this year’s fair, they are certain the 2013/14 school year is going to be a good one for our students.

Here are some photos from the event, shot by Scott Schaefer (click images to see larger versions):















2013 Back to School Fair Sponsors:
Corporate Sponsors: Comcast, Swedish Medical Center, Alaska Airlines, HealthPoint, Matt Griffin YMCA, Coldwell Banker-Danforth & Associates, Republic, MasterPark, Molina Healthcare, Coordinated Care, United Healthcare-Community Plan, SeaTacPark.com, Community Health Plan of Washington, Gene Juarez, Kids Cavity Prevention Program, Rontra, International Truck Leasing & Rental

Foundations: Windermere Foundation, Highline Schools Foundation

Non-Profit Collaborators: Angle Lake Neighborhood Church, Lutheran Community Service NW, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, SOAR, World Vision

Civic Organizations: City of SeaTac, SeaTac Police Department, Firefighters Local 2919, Highline School District, King County Library, Sound Transit

Service Clubs: Rotary Club of SeaTac, Exchange Club of Highline

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