On October 2nd, every student that attends Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Academy and Edgewood Academy in the Muskegon Heights school district will be receiving a backpack stocked with school supplies in honor of Count Day. These backpacks and supplies have been donated by local manufacturer, Nowak Machined Products.
Nowak didn’t stop at just providing backpacks and supplies for the children. They have also supplied the teachers with essentials such as tissues & hand sanitizer. “We are so honored and blessed to be the recipients of this generous gift for our students” says Principal Vanessa Marble at MLK Academy. Last year Nowak Machined Products supplied Edgewood Academy and included recess kits that included balls, jump ropes and more to each classroom. By including both Muskegon Heights Elementary Schools, the Nowak team has invested over $10,000 into the school district.
“We feel that getting kids prepared and excited for school at an early age is crucial for their future academic success”, said the Nowak Family. “After looking at the statistics provided by the United Way of the Lakeshore, we recognized that the students and faculty at the Muskegon Heights Elementary Schools could really use a hand up to ensure their students had all the supplies they needed to have a successful school year. We’re grateful to be able to do what we can to help these schools, and it feels amazing to see it all come together.”
“Building enthusiasm for school and learning is more successful when students have what they need to succeed” says Rane’ Garcia, Superintendent of Muskegon Heights. “Everyone loves a new box of crayons and the potential that comes with it. We continue to be thankful for the support from the community and businesses like Nowak Machined Products for better opportunity and equity for Muskegon Heights students.
Backpacks will be distributed to the students on count day as extra encouragement and reward for being in attendance. The backpack giveaway starts at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Academy at 8:00 AM on Wednesday in the auditorium and at Edgewood Academy at 9:00 AM. “Count Days are designated days when Michigan schools tally attendance and receive funding from the State School Aid Act. This funding is based on each student tallied. Chronic absenteeism is affecting all of our schools and has a huge financial impact when students miss count days. It also affects a child’s development and performance if they are not in class,” says Christine Robere, President of United Way of the Lakeshore. “United Way of the Lakeshore is working with several partners and collaborations on combating this issue. We are thankful for the generous gifts that continue to be made toward our children’s futures and the school’s partnership”.