A local foundation plans to give school supplies and backpacks to at least 1,000 children this summer, thanks to a grant just awarded by the city of Charlotte.
Our Foundation for Children joined with the NorthEast Coalition to seek a neighborhood matching grant.
The award of about $19,500 will ensure the return of The Right Start Initiative, a back-to-school celebration and health fair that was first organized by the foundation last year.
The event is scheduled for Aug. 20 at Thereasea Clark Elder Park in the Rockwell Park community.
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Parents and children who attend also will get access to health screenings, including eye exams.
"The need is so great," said Clair Lane, the event coordinator who started the foundation in 2000 with her husband, Alan Lane. "There are so many kids whose parents cannot afford to buy a backpack or supplies to get them started for the year."
The city provides matching grants of up to $25,000 to neighborhood-based organizations through its Capital Investment Program.
The grants are for projects that will make the neighborhood a better place to live, work or play.
The city awarded nearly $162,000 to 15 organizations for applications submitted in April. The median income must not exceed $57,489 in the neighborhoods where grants are awarded.
The NorthEast Coalition represents households in the University City area. The grant also will be used for beautification and revitalization at the park where the event is scheduled to take place.