Operation School Bell gets 1,500 local pupils ready for the new academic year

For most youngsters starting school, a new outfit marks the occasion. This summer the nonprofit Rick Rackers Auxiliary of Assistance League of Long Beach, through Operation School Bell and in partnership with the Head Start school-readiness program, provided free new school uniforms and backpacks filled with school supplies to more than 1,500 Long Beach Unified School District preschool-age children who will attend kindergarten this fall.
Mary Lee Freeman, Rick Rackers’ Philanthropic Projects Chairman, led groups of volunteers, Assisteens members , and law interns from Keesal, Young, and Logan at Assistance League of Long Beach’s Philanthropic Center to help pack, sort, and deliver backpacks filled with school uniforms to school children in need in the Long Beach area. Each backpack included two polo shirts, two pairs of pants or shorts, a warm jacket, three pairs of underwear, four pairs of socks, and a book donated by The Molina Foundation’s Book Buddies program. Also helping to put backpacks together for this year’s incoming kindergarten class were Head Start families, parents whose children had once been recipients of Operation School Bell.

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