Kids Get Free School Supplies From New York Foundling
CHELSEA — Four-year-old Aaron Brown loves superheroes — he can't get enough of Spider-Man, X-Men and other costumed crusaders.
So when he got the chance to pick out a brand-new backpack just weeks before his first day of kindergarten at Brooklyn's P.S. 249, he jumped on the one covered in bats.
"He thinks it's Batman — we'll let him think that," said his mom, Myesha Brown, 27, a Flatbush resident.
The pair got the backpack for free — and then stuffed it full of much-need school supplies at no cost — at New York Foundling's Back-to-School Shopping Day, where the children's welfare agency gives out new school supplies and clothes to 100 at-risk kids and children in the foster care system.
The event, now in its eighth year, turned Foundling's Sixth Avenue lobby into a market where kids ages 4 to 17 could fill their bags with whatever supplies struck their fancy — including Hello Kitty pencil cases and Crayola crayon sets.
For Brown, the market meant saving hundreds of dollars right when she needs it most — since she has two other kids, it's always a squeeze to get them outfitted for the first day of classes, she said.
"This program, it's really, really cool," she said as Aaron sorted through his new supplies. "I wish they did it for college. He could use a laptop."
In all, Foundling gave out about $8,000 worth of school supplies, including backpacks donated by Mojo and FAB Starpoint, notebooks, pens, pencils, crayons, markers, coloring books and uniforms provided by clothing maker French Toast.
"These kids come from a situation where they don't get to start the school year with new backpacks, pencils, pens," said Bill Baccaglini, Foundling's president and CEO.
"Why shouldn't they get all the things that other kids get?"