Donated backpacks help kids get ready for new school year

About 40 students at College View Elementary School in Huntington Beach received new backpacks stuffed with school supplies Tuesday, thanks to a donation from OnTrac, an Arizona-based package delivery company.

The school’s office staff selected the backpack recipients based on which families would benefit the most from the donated supplies, said Julie Jennings, spokeswoman for the Ocean View School District.

College View parent Maria Aguilar said she was excited to learn that her third-grader Daniel and kindergartner Benjamin were receiving free backpacks.

“I have a teenager, so it’s very expensive. But now I can save some money,” Aguilar said.

Among the supplies tucked into each backpack were colored pencils and folders, a composition book, lined paper and glue sticks. There also was a postcard addressed to OnTrac’s corporate headquarters, enabling students to share their grade level and favorite color, food and school subject.

OnTrac distributed 1,000 backpacks to schools across the western United States, said Leslie Hodges, a facilities general manager for the company.

Lizeth Paz, 10, said she was looking forward to seeing her friends Sept. 5, her first day of fifth grade, with her new backpack. She was especially excited to get new art supplies because she likes to decorate, paint and draw.

Lizeth and her schoolmates met their new principal, Elaine Burney, while picking up their backpacks Tuesday. Burney, a 12-year veteran of Ocean View schools, said it was heartwarming to see the business community step up to help her students.

“Now they have all the supplies they need to get organized,” Burney said. “It gets them started on the right track.”

In Laguna Beach, about 20 children from the Boys & Girls Club went to the Laguna Police Department on Friday to receive backpacks filled with crayons, pencils, notebooks and other supplies.

The Police Department partnered with the Purist Group — an organization of car enthusiasts — for the event, which also included a vehicle display and tours of the station.

Daily Pilot staff contributed to this report.

Daniel Langhorne is a contributor to Times Community News.