Teachers will tell you that students who start the year with all the school items they need, feel better about themselves, make more friends, and do better in school.

All you have to do is watch the faces of the children at our backpack giveaways to know that this is true. They stand taller and their eyes shine, knowing they have something nice and new for school. Having a good start makes all the difference.

Too many children don't have that luxury. Their parents are hard-pressed to pay the rent and put supper on the table. A fresh backpack just doesn't seem that important when it's a choice between that and being on the street. It shouldn't be that way, don't you agree?

We want to encourage children to work hard in school and get ahead and we're doing that by giving them free backpacks. It will be one less thing for kids to struggle with. Who knows? A new backpack, a good start to this school year, may just help a child break the cycle of poverty and get ahead.

It's a simple thing, a backpack, something made of cloth, brightly-colored. The amazing thing is the way just having that something new can level the playing field for a child, make him feel part of the classroom dynamic, and help him stand that much taller. Besides, what could possibly be better than watching a child leave for school with a smile on his face?