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Catherine is a senior communications professional helping social change organizations tell their story in powerful ways. She has expertise in public health, environmental stewardship, philanthropy and education. Follow her on Twitter @CatBrozena


Region Helps Students Prepare for School

Sometimes it all comes down to the basics – a back pack, a good pair of shoes, the right supplies, a solid “thumbs up” from your doctor telling you everything is in check.

Everyone needs to be prepared with the right tools when they’re starting off a new venture, basic yet critical materials necessary for a quality education. The same goes with starting off a new school year. But for many low-income families, starting off the new school year with the basics can be a real challenge, especially when financial resources are tight.

K to College, a California-based non-profit working to supply students with the basic supplies they need to be healthy and successful in school, highlights how dire the problem is. They estimate that more than 250,000 public school children are homeless, and 3.5 million are enrolled in the Free or Reduced Price Meal program, which has a 185% of poverty level income ceiling. For many of these children and youth, food and shelter often takes precedent over getting access to sneakers and school supplies.

With this in mind, Kaiser Permanente of Northern California kicked off the new school year with a series of back-to-school activities meant to provide students with the basics so that they could start their new school year with confidence.

“Access to healthy food, fresh water, and exercise on campus is big part of it—but so are some of the basics that can be challenging for low-income families to provide their children. Being able to start school with a new pair of shoes and a backpack full of supplies can go a long way in helping kids get excited about the new school year,” said Sherry Novick, managing director for Kaiser Permanente Community Benefit in Northern California.

Employees and physicians across the region came together to show their support from contributing to school supply drives to supporting health screenings. You can read the full story of their activities here.

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