Excitement filled the air, as students returned to school recently.
Students from Thorne and Daly Elementary Schools, part of the Westwood Community School District, lined up and were greeted with high fives, cheers, and "Welcome back to school! We missed you," being shouted from the staff.
Golfview Manor Civic Association's Youth Leadership Programs, a local Dearborn Heights organization and 501c3, sponsored the annual "Backpack Project." The Youth Leadership Programs, written and under the leadership of Dearborn Heights City Councilwoman Lisa Hicks-Clayton, supports student development and builds leadership skills through community service.
This year, over 1,000 backpacks were distributed to students of the Westwood Community School District. Each year, a different school district is chosen to receive the complimentary backpacks.
"The project is designed to support families and we wish for students to start the new school year on a positive note," Hicks-Clayton said.
U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit), a community partner, shared her favorite part of the day.
"Seeing a young student with his backpack filled with holes, giving him a new one, seeing his face light up, was the best part of the day," she said.
Members of Services to Enhance Potential (STEP), a community partner, assisted with distributing the backpacks to students. Midwest Recycling, LAHC, Fairlane Car Wash, DTE and Michigan Senator Betty Jean Alexander were also community partners, assisted with welcoming students back to school and distributing backpacks. The Westwood Community School District Superintendent Stiles Simmons, school principals, teachers and School Board members were key in their support and are making a difference in our students' lives.