Operation Back to School is July 20 in Chandler

Volunteers help set up Operation Back to School at Chandler High School.

Volunteers help set up Operation Back to School at Chandler High School.

For the seventh year in a row, the city of Chandler is partnering with local organizations to prepare students in need for the upcoming academic year—Operation Back to School is ready to hand out 2,600 backpacks filled with school supplies July 20.

It is the largest back-to-school drive in the East Valley, according to the city.

“It would be my hope that we can help as many families as possible, not only in Chandler Unified School District but in the city,” Chandler Mayor Kevin Hartke said.

The event, led by the city of Chandler and For Our City Chandler, brings together community members and more than 60 organizations for the benefit of K-12 students.

Nonprofits had been doing backpack drives for many years before Operation Back to School was established. However, it was not very organized and ran into many complications, said Niki Tapia, community resource and diversity supervisor for the city of Chandler.

“We get more things done in a community when we work together,” Hartke said.

The event began when someone at For Our City, an initiative started by Hartke, thought, "How great would it be to have a one-stop shop where Chandler students can get a backpack filled with school supplies?” Tapia said.

Many different community resources are offered during the back-to-school drive, as well. Tapia said dental and health screenings, information on water safety and library cards, and haircuts are available to students.

Tapia said the first and foremost reason the city continues to host the event is for the students.

“Seeing kids' faces when they get that backpack,” she said. “That’s exactly why we do this.”

Even though the backpack drive is put on by the city, Tapia said the event is a community effort.

“Our role is ... to organize and communicate,” Tapia said. “It doesn’t happen with[out] all the people who come together to make it happen.”


MOST RECENT

Chandler residents registered to vote can vote in the Tuesday, Aug. 4 election for three seats on Chandler City Council. (Community Impact staff)
Chandler Aug. 4 election: Key dates and deadlines to know

Chandler residents registered to vote can vote in the Tuesday, Aug. 4 election for three seats on Chandler City Council.

ADOT announced closures and restrictions on Loop 101 for this week. (Courtesy Fotolia)
ADOT announces closures, restrictions on Loop 101 from July 10-14

As crews work to finish a project adding a travel lane in each direction on a stretch of Loop 101 through Chandler, the Arizona Department of Transportation announced closures and restrictions for July 10-14.

(Community Impact Newspaper staff)
2 Chandler USD board members among more than 60 statewide urging governor to delay school start to October

Lindsay Love and David Evans, members of the Chandler USD governing board, attached their names, along with more than 60 other school board members across the state, to a letter sent to Gov. Doug Ducey on July 7 asking the start of any in-person learning not begin before Oct. 1.

Gov. Doug Ducey announced July 9 a new executive order limiting the capacity of indoor dining to less than 50% in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 throughout Arizona. (Community Impact staff)
'We have had a brutal June in Arizona': Gov. Doug Ducey limits indoor dining capacity due to COVID-19

Gov. Doug Ducey announced July 9 a new executive order limiting the capacity of indoor dining to less than 50% in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 throughout Arizona. (Community Impact staff)

Small businesses within Maricopa County, excluding Phoenix and Mesa, can apply for COVID-19 relief grants up to $10,000 from July 9-31. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Maricopa County small businesses can apply for COVID-19 relief grants beginning July 9

Small businesses within Maricopa County, excluding Phoenix and Mesa, can apply for COVID-19 relief grants up to $10,000 from July 9-31.

The city of Chandler is reviewing a draft ordinance to implement a new state law intended to give cities a tool to address short-term rentals turned "party houses." (Community Impact staff)
Chandler drafts ordinance to address 'party houses,' requests resident feedback

The city of Chandler is reviewing a draft ordinance to implement a new state law intended to give cities a tool to address short-term rentals turned "party houses."

Census worker
2020 census: Bureau prepares nonresponse follow-up field operations

For individuals who have not responded to the 2020 census, one of about 500,000 census takers will visit the their household between Aug. 11-Oct. 31.

Kathy Hoffman, state superintendent of public instruction, released a statement July 7 following a July 6 tweet from President Donald Trump stating Trump's belief that "schools must open in the fall." (Community Impact staff)
In response to President Trump's tweets, Arizona schools chief urges caution when reopening schools

Kathy Hoffman, state superintendent of public instruction, released a statement July 7 following a July 6 tweet from President Donald Trump stating Trump's belief that "schools must open in the fall."

Local schools are figuring out plans for next school year. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
Deadline for Chandler USD families to select online or in-person schooling is July 14

Chandler USD officials are asking families to choose whether their student will attend school in person or online for the 2020-21 school year by July 14.

As the number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations continues to climb across Arizona, the state's hospital systems have begun to implement "surge plans," or plans for adding extra capacity to hospitals when more patients need to be treated. (Alexa D'Angelo/Community Impact Newspaper)
Chandler Regional Medical Center sees continued increases in patients, implements surge plans

As the number of COVID-19-related hospitalizations continues to climb across Arizona, the state's hospital systems have begun to implement "surge plans," or plans for adding extra capacity to hospitals when more patients need to be treated.