The beginning of a new school year is always exciting, regardless of what grade you’re in. New clothes, new classes and new friends all help to make the prospect of a new school season an exciting adventure. But for some kids, the new school year can be a time of worrying and frustration. Some families facing financial hardships struggle to provide their children basic school supplies and worry how they can get their kids ready to start the new school year. OtterCares understands that kids need the right tools to be successful and we are committed to helping take some of the stress off of parents concerned about affording school supplies for the children. Through our Pack2School program, we help parents and students prepare for a great school year.
OtterCares’ annual Pack2School program provides school supplies and backpacks to students in need, grades K-12, in the Poudre School District. This one-day event provides opportunities for these students and their families to “shop” for school supplies that we provide at no cost to them as well as participate in fun learning activities that engages and encourages kids to create, learn and explore. This event also provides an opportunity for hundreds of our employees to engage in a community volunteer activity where they experience the joy of giving back.
This year’s Pack2School theme was, “You can change the world!”. OtterCares believes that one young and inspired mind change the world. We champion new and interactive learning opportunities that inspire students to learn that they are capable of anything, helping to breaking down limitations and teaching kids that they CAN. Pack2School is one opportunity for OtterCares and employee volunteers to inspire students before the school year starts, giving them the support and encouragement they need to start the school year off right.
Nearly 1,800 qualified students from the Poudre School District participated in this year’s Pack2School event. Students picked out their supplies and participated in fun activities the helped them learn more about being an entrepreneur and philanthropist. Students had the chance to play with robots, learn about fun activities they could be a part of such as the Young Entrepreneur Tournament and Pretty Brainy and played interactive learning games designed to help students use critical thinking and creation skills. Over 270 Otter Products volunteers contributed more than 900 hours managing registration, helping students pick out their supplies, working with kids in setting personal goals and talking to them about the new school year.
One Otter Products volunteer, Jimmy, shared his experience with one of the students, saying, “I had a super fun experience with a 1st grade girl. We got her backpack, she smiled the whole time [while] we put all of her supplies in her pack. We had a lot of fun getting her ready for school in that five minute time period it took to get her stuff. After that I told her good luck and have a great school year. She walked over to me, hugged my leg and said ‘This was the best first day of school ever!’. I about lost it!”.
The Pack2School program strives to be more than just a school supplies program – the program and all of its volunteers work to bring hope and encouragement to the lives of students and their parents. Through fun learning games that help kids exercise their critical thinking skills and exposing students to extracurricular activities that can help broaden their learning experiences, Pack2School creates an environment of learning, fun, excitement, and, most importantly, hope.
The 2015 Pack2School event was a huge success! Thank you to all of the volunteers, programs and supporters who helped make this event possible.
To see more photos from this year’s Pack2School event, please visit, and “Like” our Facebook page!