LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The YMCA of Central Kentucky, in partnership with Fayette County Public Schools, sponsors, and community partners, hosted its annual Neighborhood Back to School Rallies on Saturday.
The rallies provide elementary, middle, and high school students with free backpacks and school supplies.
“They’re getting a real backpack. Other years it used to be a sling bag but this year it’s a real backpack and it has crayons, markers, and notebooks,” said Carmen Cotto, the family resource coordinator for Cardinal Valley Elementary School.
In previous years, the Neighborhood Back to School Rallies were bigger events with food, activities, and guest speakers. Due to COVID-19, participants were asked to pre-register for the rallies.
Cars lined up along the Cardinal Valley Elementary driveway and volunteers handed backpacks to parents and students through their car windows.
All backpacks were assigned to students ahead of the event, which lasted from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at eight locations around Fayette County.
“We are accountable for 474 people who signed up [at the Cardinal Valley Elementary location] so I don’t have any extras, but I’m making a list. I’m taking names and YMCA will get back with me and I’ll get back with those parents. We’re going to service every child that we possibly can,” Cotto said.
The YMCA is working with Fayette County Public Schools to provide additional backpacks before school starts on August 26.
Cotto advised anyone interested or in need of other resources to reach out to their school’s Family Resource Center for more information.