Help Us Stuff the Bus!

Stuff the Bus Featured ImageDear community member,

I hope you’ve been enjoying a fun and recharging summer! Today I am thrilled to share with you that one of our most important and impactful campaigns of the year is back – it’s time to Stuff the Bus!

Stuff the Bus is our annual campaign to provide backpacks filled with school supplies and resource information to students experiencing homelessness and other hardships, in partnership with United Way of Santa Cruz County.

It’s about more than school supplies. Our goal is to provide every student with the opportunity to step into the classroom ready to achieve and thrive, regardless of their individual circumstances. Every $25 donation provides a backpack filled with supplies – and brings us a step closer to our goal of ensuring no child in Santa Cruz County has to start the school year unprepared.

Santa Cruz County is now the nation’s least affordable rental market, as was widely reported last month. More than 1,800 students in our county are experiencing homelessness according to our most recent data from the 2022-23 school year. That’s nearly 1 in every 20 students, a rate markedly higher than the average statewide.

Thanks to the generosity of our school community, last year we distributed more than 1,650 backpacks – including providing hundreds of backpacks to students displaced by the flooding in Pajaro. If you’re in a position to do so, I hope you’ll consider joining our campaign and making a donation or signing up to volunteer at our Stuff-A-Thon at Kaiser Arena in Santa Cruz on August 5. To the many organizations who have already joined our campaign this year, thank you so much for your support. It makes a world of difference.

As a final housekeeping note, this newsletter is released monthly during the summer break. We’ll return to a weekly cadence the week before most districts start school, on Friday, August 4. In the meantime, you can always keep up with our latest events and updates by following the COE on FacebookInstagram and our website.

Yours in education and equity,
Dr. Faris Sabbah
County Superintendent of Schools