School is finally back in session as the days of summer fun have come to a close. Here in LaGrange and Troup County, that means supplies are flying off the shelves and kids are excited to head back into the classrooms, all so eager and ready to learn. Unfortunately, all across this country, there are some who will have to go without when it comes to school supplies. In our local community several backpack drives have taken place and one of the
newest ones, the Backpack 4 Kids movement, just wrapped up and delivered its last load of backpacks and school supplies on the afternoon of Friday, August 26.
Backpacks 4 Kids is a school supply drive that was hosted by our District Attorney Pete Skandalakis and his office. The idea was thought up, designed, and executed by two of our very own local Assistant District Attorney’s, Brett Adams and Drew Case. They saw a need for school supply drives not only through the needs of teachers and schools, but also in their jobs as they understood how gangs were using school supplies as a way to recruit young kids. They set to work and organized the event that spread across the entire Coweta Judicial Circuit, a total of five counties participating. Law enforcement, local government, and private organizations all pitched in and donated to this great cause and the event became a rousing success.
All throughout the month of July, people from all over these counties collected backpacks and school supplies. All in all, Troup County collected 700 backpacks alone. For the entire circuit, there were over 1,500 total collected, a staggering number for a first annual event. A couple of weeks ago on Sunday, August 7, the entire DA’s office gathered on the square for a celebratory event and distributed several backpacks to local individuals on the square. There was music, lots of laughs, and some local entertainment. After the event, the DA’s office had a surplus of backpacks and they knew just what to do with them.
On the afternoon of August 26, several cars packed to the brim with backpacks pulled up to the Troup County School System building on S. Davis Road to unload more than 500 backpacks for the school year. Many of the ADA’s themselves unloaded the boxes to donate to the school system. With so many backpacks and supplies now available, the hope will be that no child ever has to go without, and this is also one more step to loosening the grip and influence that gangs have on our youth.
LaGrange, Troup County, and the entire Coweta circuit are blessed to have dedicated people like the ones in our local District Attorney’s office. It is one thing to fight for the freedom and justice of the community on a daily basis, but these men and women go even further in their pursuits of helping others. These men and women, and truly all of those that participated, are to be commended for their hard work, dedication, and sacrifice for the good of this community. No child should ever have to go without or be bribed by criminals in order to maintain a healthy appetite for learning. Our community will not stand for such things, and if events and drives such as the Backpacks 4 Kids continue to thrive here, then we will truly make this the premier place to be in all of Georgia and beyond.
Jeremy Andrews Staff Writer