Middle school students send backpacks to Baton Rouge | SierraSun.com
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Middle school students send backpacks to Baton Rouge

Photo by Ryan Salm/Sierra SunAlder Creek Middle School students stuff backpacks with school supplies, which will be sent to Baton Rouge, La.
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Nearly 400 backpacks stuffed with school supplies and hand-written letters are on their way from Truckee to hurricane-stricken Baton Rouge, La., and 300 more are on their way.

Blaise Boegel, a sixth-grader at Alder Creek Middle School, first sparked the idea when he approached his parents about helping young Hurricane Katrina victims by sending backpacks.

Merchants and community members who were asked to donate supplies to the project gave far beyond expectations, and the project has continued to expand, said Rachel Falk, Alder Creek Middle School guidance counselor.



“The project just took on a life of its own,” said Falk, who has helped to organize the effort. “And it seems like this happens in our community every time there is a need. We ask for a little and get so much more.”

Seventh-grader Garrett Woodrow said the letters local students wrote were just as important as the backpacks and school supplies.



“Our classes talk about what’s going on and how we should help others get back on their feet,” Woodrow said. “We are writing letters to let them know how sorry we are and there we hope they feel better. There is one in every backpack.”

The backpacks will be distributed to three schools in Baton Rouge. The shipping will be paid for by the Medical Reserve Corps, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit with a chapter in Truckee.

Also in the donated bas are stuffed animals, Mardi Gras beads, children’s books, markers, paper, pencils, and other supplies donated by students and parents.

Gina Stephens and the students from QUEST, a service learning class at Alder Creek, helped get the backpacks together as part of their curriculum.

Now the project will be handed off to students at other Truckee schools, where students will send off the remaining 300 backpacks.


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