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The Denver Public Library Friends Foundation enriches our community by building support and raising money to enhance the Library's programs and services.

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  • Encourage over 43,000 kids to keep their love for reading alive thanks to our hugely successful Summer of Reading program
  • Assist nearly 14,900 parents and their children with English language, citizenship and literacy programs
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  • Put thousands of new books, CDs and DVDs on the shelves every year

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6 Ways to Give Back During Back-to-School

It is officially August, which means two things: (1) summer is coming to an end and fall is just around the corner, and (2) it is officially back-to-school time. This means backpacks, pencils, binders, notebooks, the whole shabang.

Back-to-school season can be exciting, challenging and—with kids—frustrating. You can take advantage of this time to grow and live a positive lifestyle by getting involved in local schools’ philanthropy. So today we’re going to talk about six great ways to join in and give back to the community during back-to-school season.

1. Buy extra school supplies for local shelters.
While you’re out shopping for any school supplies you or your kids may need, consider splurging a bit and buying some extras to donate. Many local shelters usually have programs running during back-to-school season for families who can’t afford to buy supplies for their children. Donating to causes like this betters the community and helps out local neighbors.

2. Bring extra materials for a teacher.
In many school districts, the money provided to teachers doesn’t cover all the supplies they need for their classrooms, and teachers end up having to pay out of pocket. Try emailing your children’s teachers, or teachers close to you, and see if there are any other materials they may need. If you can, pick these up while out shopping for your own supplies. The teacher will appreciate it immensely and you’ll help a cause in need.

3. Get involved in a backpack program.
Many communities offer a backpack program, where children on free or reduced lunch sign up for bags filled with food to bring home for the weekend. Research local schools to see if any offer similar programs, then get involved by donating food, supplies or time dispensing the materials. You’re able to give back and help families who can’t afford to feed themselves.

4. Volunteer in a classroom.
Schools are always looking for helpful volunteers. Whether you have children or not, you can check with local schools to see if any volunteers are needed for current or habitual programs. Teachers and staff greatly appreciate the help, and you have fun playing with kids for a cause.

5. Help clean up the school.
During back-to-school time, many schools make efforts to clean up the school’s lawn aesthetics or buildings. Check and see if any schools in your local community need help with a clean up service, then get involved painting, gardening or picking up trash. This is a simple yet very effective way to be involved philanthropically.

6. Teach your children about philanthropy.
Lastly, if you work with or have kids, take time this back-to-school season to teach them the importance of philanthropy. Lead by example in charity work, and your children will follow the same values. You have the opportunity to instill good morals in our future generation of philanthropists.

This back-to-school season, do more than simply prepare for a new school year—help those in need. You can take advantage of philanthropic opportunities and better the schools in your community. Give back during back-to-school and school will give back to you.