WQED Ready to Learn has partnered with SHIM (South Hills Interfaith Movement) in their Back-to-School Backpack Distribution for the 2016 fall season. Each August, SHIM provides children backpacks filled with the necessary supplies to head back to school feeling confident and ready to learn.

All the materials were donated by members of the community, who purchased and dropped off thousands of items. Any family who needs help with basic back-to-school supplies is welcome to bring their children (K-12) to SHIM to receive new backpacks and supplies. Hundreds of children received new backpacks filled with school supplies such as pens, pencils, crayons, notebooks, calculators and other essentials at the backpack distribution events held at Baldwin United Presbyterian Church in Baldwin Borough and the SHIM Family Center at Prospect Park in Whitehall.

Children and their families who gathered at the South Hills Interfaith Movement Center in Bethel Park were greeted by WQED’s PBS character Super Why. WQED and Bethel Park Public Library sponsored arts-and-crafts activities and book giveaways for the children at the event. The children also wrote thank-you notes to the various organizations that made donations. Ilene Cohen, SHIM’s director of philanthropic engagement stated that the need for such an event is because “A lot of these families are making hard decisions between clothing for school, the supplies for school, signing up for all their activities, and so anything we can do to help ease that burden is what we’re trying to achieve.” By partnering with SHIM, WQED Ready to Learn wants to support the education of children not only through PBS programming, but by directly impacting the community through such events.

Find out how you can volunteer with SHIM here