Woodland Public Schools’ Back to School Bash gave away more than 600 free backpacks filled with school supplies to students in need

More than 600 students from Woodland, Kalama, La Center, and other local school districts received free backpacks filled with school supplies at Woodland Public Schools’ third annual Back to School Bash on Saturday, August 17, 2019.

Catherine Pulliam, a counselor at Woodland High School, organized this year’s Back to School Bash by lining up donors and volunteers while organizing the myriad of other details required for the event’s ongoing success. “We had 17 community partners attend the event as well as many others who donated funds to support the Back to School Bash,” she said. “We received so much support from our communities including all of our wonderful volunteers.”

Around 2,000 students, parents, guardians, and community members attended the event with 598 backpacks handed out at the event and many more given out the week following the bash from the Family Community Resource Center (FCRC) located at Woodland Public Schools.

In addition to free backpacks filled with school supplies for all students, every attendee received a free dinner and were able to participate in a variety of board games and other activities including several bounce houses and raffles.

Local area organizations and businesses who donated funds and supplies for the event included:

  • Clover Valley Church
  • Fibre Federal Credit Union
  • Grace Church
  • iQ Credit Union
  • Promise Church
  • St. Vincent de Paul Church
  • USNR
  • Woodland Fire Department
  • Woodland Police Department
  • Woodland Public Schools’ Food Services
  • … and many more!

The key to the event’s success lies in teamwork, collaboration, and organization. “This year’s event seemed to run very smoothly, especially since we’ve been putting this on for a few years now,” said Pulliam. “Watching students and families having fun and exploring the various resources on-hand was very exciting!”

In order to achieve its goals, the FCRC relies on the support of local businesses and community organizations. Pulliam applied for and received grants from the Southwest Washington Community Foundation, iQ Credit Union and Fibre Federal Credit Union. “We couldn’t offer the programs we do without the generous support from these organizations as well as our community,” explained Pulliam. “Seeing the community acknowledge the importance of helping those among us in need is extremely gratifying.”