4,000 Children in Need to Receive Backpacks, School Supplies from Non-profit

August 29, 2012

 PERTH AMBOY — Two non-profits will distribute 4,000 backpacks full of school supplies to needy children Thursday, just in time for the first day of classes.

The Better Education Institute and the local Big Brothers Big Sisters chapter will distribute the school materials to kids and their parents at four city churches tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: the Bethel Christian Church on Hall Avenue, the Perth Amboy Christian Center on Barclay Street, the God’s Army Ministry on New Brunswick Avenue, and the Iglesia La Nueva Jerusalen on Sutton Street.

“These sorts of partnerships are exactly what it takes to make sure our children have every opportunity to be successful in the classroom,” said Carlos Lejniek, the chairman of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New Jersey.

Each backpack will be stuffed with two notebooks, two folders, six pencils, a pencil sharpener, rule, glue stick and eraser, said Gerard Green, an outreach coordinator with the Better Education Institute. The distribution is focused on kids pre-kindergarten through 9th grade — but generally to the younger crowd.

Still, they do not turn anyone away, Green added.

The backpack drive will also bring the supplies to kids in Passaic, Plainfield, Paterson and Newark this year. Last year, roughly 40,000 backpacks were distributed to kids in need in Jersey City, Camden, Perth Amboy, Elizabeth and Asbury Park, Green said.

The Better Education Institute is the non-profit arm of Better Education for Kids, Inc. — a group that advocates for school reform principles including merit pay and tenure reform, according to their website.

In Perth Amboy, the first day of school is Sept. 6.