TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - On Sunday, thousands of backpacks were given out to kids for free across the US.
TCC, a Verizon retailer, supplied about 140,000 backpacks to their stores around the nation for the event. The location in the Tucson Mall had about 100 to give away.
Seven TCC locations in Tucson gave out backpacks from 1pm to 4pm.
“For sixth grade, I’m going to need pencils, and they give out pencils and rulers, and they gave out a ruler,” said Karizma Royal, a student who got a backpack.
A spiral, folder, pencil holder, pencils and a ruler were given along with the backpack. For some parents, this is at least a great head-start on the supply shopping.
“I have multiple kids, so it is very expensive to buy school supplies for everyone,” said Roberta Rodgers, a mom getting backpacks for her kids.
The TUSD school supply lists for kindergarten and middle school cost about $40 to $50 each.
“I brought three kids today, and that’s 90 bucks you know? So, it’s a very big help,” said Rodgers.
Teachers are spending a lot of their own money in classrooms. The National Center for Education Statistics estimates teachers nation-wide spend an average of about $500 a year from their own pocket on school supplies.
According to the National Retail Federation, families with school-aged children spent an average $684.79 each on school supplies.