Photo courtesy EPCC
El Paso Community College (EPCC)’s Service Learning School Store, in partnership with the El Paso Community Foundation, are once again providing backpacks filled with school supplies for 1,200 students at area elementary schools.
“The purpose of the EPCC school store is to prepare students with the supplies they need and motivate children for the coming academic year,” Patricia Islas, Service Learning Program Coordinator said. “We also want to create a connection that will encourage students to go to college and that EPCC would be a great place to start in the future to further their education.”
EPCC officials say that this annual effort -now in its 5th year – ensures that students are prepared with the supplies they need to start the school year.
“The Service Learning Program at EPCC encourages civic responsibility among students through community service,” officials said.
While the students usually pick up their backpacks at EPCC campuses and participate in campus tours, due to COVID-19, Service Learning Program faculty, students and other volunteers will be delivering the backpacks to schools.
“For the past five years, the EPCC stores have provided school supplies to schools as well as provided campus tours and information to students about going to college,” project officials share. “This program has expanded significantly due to the generosity of a donation from the El Paso Community Foundation; as a result, more schools and volunteers participate each year and more kids are able to benefit from the program.”
EPCC School Store Coordinator, Shanan Valles and Service Learning Program students are being assisted in this effort with the support of and volunteers from EPCC’s Career and Transfer Services, New Student Orientation, Dr. William Serrata and President’s Office staff and others.
The college’s efforts were enhanced by sponsorship and volunteer assistance from the community, including the El Paso Community Foundation, Peter Piper Pizza, HHC, 1-36 IN BN (Spartans), 1stABCT 1st Armored Division, Sgt. Michael White and school district personnel.
“Through Service Learning, students can apply newly acquired academic skills and knowledge to address real-life needs in their own communities and reflect on the meaning of this service,” officials added.