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Backpacks for a better future

Local children to receive school supplies through donations

Whether they are excited for school to start or will miss the carefree summer days, every child wants to have the needed supplies when the school bell rings.

Schenectady County partnered with the Junior League of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties to make sure some children receive the right supplies to get the school year off to a good start through Operation Back-to-School.

School supply donation bins will be placed in Schenectady County buildings and county library branches. All donations are being accepted until Thursday, Sept. 2 and the supplies will be delivered to Hamilton Elementary School students on the first day of classes, Wednesday, Sept. 8.

As a mother of school-aged children, I know how exciting the first day of school can be, but I also understand how difficult it is for struggling families to provide the necessary school supplies to get their children off to the right start, said Susan Savage, D-Niskayuna, chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature. "As a sustaining member of the Junior League, I am proud that Schenectady is partnering with the Junior League to provide this valuable service to children and our families."

Savage was joined by President of the Junior League of Schenectady and Saratoga Counties Deneen Palmateer and principal of Hamilton Elementary School Robert Flanders for the formal announcement on Monday, Aug. 23.

The League's program, now in its seventh year, was started by then-president Denise Murphy McGraw, Niskayuna Town Board member, and it has provided school supplies and backpacks to more than 6,500 children in Schenectady County, said Palmateer.

"We " the members of the Junior League, the school, the families " all believe that by children starting the year off prepared, they're starting the year off prepared to succeed," said Palmateer.

For five years, the Junior League has provided Hamilton Elementary students with school supplies, and the donations will go towards helping provide these children once again.

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