CHANDLER, Ariz. -- The city of Chandler wants to make sure kids head back to school ready to learn.
From now until July 20, the city will be collecting school supplies, backpacks and clothing items at numerous locations throughout Chandler, including public libraries, fire stations, police stations and Chandler City Hall.
"We've set a goal of trying to get 10,000 backpacks and the supplies that go in them, as well as socks, underwear, uniforms, and shoes to be able to help our Title 1 students as they go back to school in July," said Leah Powell, Community Resources and Diversity Manager for the City of Chandler.
Under the No Child Left Behind Act, Title 1 provides financial assistance to local educational agencies to meet the needs of educationally disadvantaged children at preschool, elementary, and secondary school levels.
Powell said Chandler's early start date makes it especially challenging to collect items for kids. Classes start July 22, while most Valley school districts start at the beginning of August.
"When people start thinking about back to school they typically don't think about it this early, so it's important for us to try to get as many donations as possible," she said.
In addition to needing backpacks and supplies, 200 volunteers are needed to help distribute the filled backpacks to students at a July 20 distribution event and another 90 volunteers are needed on July 19 to help set up for the next day's event.
To encourage people to donate, Chandler is giving away coupons for free pizza at Peter Piper Pizza, while supplies last.
For a complete list of donation sites and volunteer information, visit the For Our City website.
For those unable to shop for supplies, cash donations can be made online by visiting chandlerfoodbank.org.