NJ Devils donate backpacks, supplies to Newark kids on first day of school

Amanda Marzullo | The Star-Ledger | Email the author | Follow on Twitter

NEWARK — For their first day of school Thursday, students at John F. Kennedy School were surprised with brand new school supplies for the upcoming year.

More than 150 backpacks stuffed with notebooks, crayons and other essentials were donated to the interdisciplinary special education school in Newark.

The New Jersey Devils and Prudential Center employees — with additional help from the non-profit Pass It Along — helped put a smile on the students’ and teachers’ faces as they handed out the donated gear.

The John F. Kennedy school caters to students aged 10 to 21 who are disabled, medically involved, and autistic.

“Anything that anyone does for this population, for these children, it is always welcoming,” said Principal Glenda Johnson-Green.

All of the backpacks were stuffed by Prudential Center employees. Each bag even included a hand written message in their notebook to help kickoff the school year.

Thousands of pieces of school supplies, such as pencils, notebooks, crayons, index cards and glue sticks, were donated. Additional backpacks and supplies were handed out to the South 17th Street Elementary School in Newark.

“We would like this to become the first of a number of opportunities that we have to work with you and your students,” Jim Leonard, Senior Vice President of Community Investment at New Jersey Devils/Prudential Center, told school officials Thursday. “At the end of the day it’s about them and that’s why we are here.”

Mr. Roberto, a middle school language arts teacher at the school, said he was honored to have the donation for his students.

“We appreciate everything we get,” he said. “It’s a nice little way to start off the year.”

View the story on www.nj.com.