Hundreds of backpacks and school supplies will be given to school kids Saturday during a Back to School Fair in St. Louis. State Rep. Steven Roberts, D-St. Louis, is hosting the event that aims to help underprivileged kids get ready for a new school year.
“This is something that I took for granted, growing up and going to school,” says Roberts. “Having my notebooks, pens, pencils, book bag, the things every student needs to prepare to learn on day one.”
Roberts, who served as a prosecutor, says he realizes that a lack of education is a continuing problem in the city of St. Louis. He says providing students with the tools they need is critical to their success.
“A lot of students struggle to have the basic school supplies they need,” says Roberts. “Our schools in this city are underfunded. We have a huge problem of not being able to pay our teachers competitive salaries.”
The freshman legislator’s goal was to provide backpacks and supplies for about 400 kids. The outpouring of generosity by organizations and businesses in the community surpassed his goal by about 300. Roberts says any leftover bags and supplies will be distributed to other area school kids.
The donations will be given to elementary and middle school students attending Ashland, Bryan Hill, Farragut, Pamoja and Yeatman.
Free physicals will also be available. The fair will be from 12 to 3 p.m. Sunday at Yeatman Liddell Middle School.
Roberts has partnered with several businesses and the Little Bit Foundation, which serves disadvantaged school children.