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Student Services Division

Update on the 2014/2015 Write-Start Backpack Project!

Write-Start 2014

For 25 years the Write-Start Backpack Project has been providing homeless and low-income students with new backpacks and school supplies to start the new school year. Since its inception in 1989, the Write-Start Backpack Project has provided over 26,300 backpacks to Santa Cruz County students.

Write-Start 2014

On August 2, 2014 the “Stuff the Bus” event collected 426 backpacks and a variety of school supplies. Volunteers from United Way, Target and Bay Federal Bank helped stuff backpacks and then stuff the school bus with all the collected donations. Our goal this year is to collect 1,000 backpacks. With additional backpacks expected we are on our way to fulfilling this goal. It’s never too late to donate; we will continue collecting donations all year round. Donations can be made through our PayPal account or mail a check addressed to Students in Transition. If you would like to donate backpacks or school supplies you are welcome to drop them off at the Santa Cruz County Office of Education, or we can make arrangements to pick up your donation.

Other organizations that are supporting the Write-Start Backpack Project include the Express Professionals. They are working closely with all of their business partners to collect as many donations as possible; their donations are arriving soon. Costco-Santa Cruz has donated 400 backpacks filled with school supplies!

A BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has supported the Write-Start Backpack Project!

Families are scheduled to pick up their backpacks beginning the week of Tuesday, 8/12. We look forward in assisting over 150 families and 12 Local Agencies that support needy families in the Santa Cruz County. We hope to serve more children with the support of our community!

Write-Start 2013

The highlight of the drive is always the distribution part to students in need. Children in grades K-12 from homeless and low-income families were delighted to receive a new backpack filled with all of the necessary school supplies. Some of the comments heard over and over from the children who received the backpacks were, “WOW! This is awesome!” “I’m totally set for school.” and “This feels like Christmas.”

Write-Start 2013

The Write-Start Backpack project also linked up with local agencies that already serve children in need provided their support by assisting in distribution of the backpacks and school supplies. Some of the agencies included CASA, Child Welfare, Roots and Wings, Live Oak Resource Center, T.T.T. Camp, Families Together, Rebele Shelter, Jesus- Joseph and Mary Home, Cal-Works, GEMMA, Women’s Crisis Center, Fast Track, and Families in Transition. The Write-Start Project kept a master list of students receiving backpacks to ensure no duplication of services occurred.

Write-Start 2013

In addition, local school districts also partnered in the distribution of supplies to students. These include Pajaro Valley Unified School District, Santa Cruz City Schools District, Live Oak School District, Soquel Union Elementary School District, Scotts Valley Unified School District, and SCCOE Alternative Education.

pile of new backpacks for school

Donate to Student Support Services
Write-Start Project

There is never enough funding to provide 100% of the needy students in Santa Cruz County with the services they deserve. Now you can make an online donation for one of our programs! Online donations through PayPal are fast, secure, and your donation goes directly to services for Santa Cruz County youth.

All donations made to Student Support Services must be accepted by the County Board of Education. Once your donation has been reviewed and accepted, we will notify and thank you by mail. This process may take 4-6 weeks.

It’s not too late to help! The need is high and the Write-Start Project will continue to collect donations year round in efforts to fulfill the educational needs of homeless and low-income students.

Currently, we are in need of the following items:

  • Santa Cruz Metro bus passes (kids can’t learn if they cannot get to school)
  • Large backpacks for High School Students - no red or blue
  • 3 ring binders 1 1/2 or 2 inches
  • Binder paper
  • Spiral bound notebooks
  • Rulers
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Color crayons
  • Colored pencils
  • Color markers
  • Calculators
  • Glue sticks
  • Shoe gift certificates
  • Clothing gift certificates
  • Cash donations also accepted or donate online using PayPal!

All items may be dropped off or mailed to:
Students in Transition
Attn: Nohemi Macias
Santa Cruz County Office of Education
400 Encinal St.
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Please make checks payable to Students in Transition.
If you have any questions, please call Nohemi Macias at (831)466-5710

Stuff the Bus 2011
Stuff the Bus 2011
Write-Start Backpack ProjectWrite-Start Backpack Project Write-Start Backpack Project

Santa Cruz County Office of Education  |  400 Encinal Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060  |  831.466.5600  |  Fax: 831.466.5607
The Santa Cruz County Office of Education provides quality educational programs and services to a diverse community.