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Joplin students to receive backpacks and school supplies

Irving Elementary.
Irving Elementary.Dawn Sticklen

Thanks to the generous donations of many groups and individuals throughout the country, ALL students attending Joplin R-VIII schools will receive a new backpack filled with school supplies on the first day of school. Initially, Bright Futures - a community-based program that works to create partnerships and utilize community resources to help lower Joplin’s dropout rates – set out to provide school supplies to those children who were displaced by the tornado. This effort has grown to encompass all 7,000+ students (K-12) in the R-VIII district.

Volunteers sort school supplies donated to Joplin Schools
Volunteers sort school supplies donated to Joplin SchoolsDawn Sticklen

The response to Bright Future’s drive, called “Adopt-An-Eagle”, has been overwhelming. School supplies ranging from notebook paper to pencils to highlighters have overflowed pallets in a local warehouse. These items will be sorted by grade and then packed into backpacks and sent to area schools. Students will receive their new backpacks, filled with supplies, on the first day of school, which is August 17.

School supplies have also been donated to St. Mary’s Grade School, which was leveled by the tornado. To make a contribution to Bright Future’s Adopt-An-Eagle fund, please visit their website at

Donations for St. Mary’s Grade School can also be sent to JACS Development Office, 930 Pearl, Joplin, MO 64801.