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National Council of Jewish Women Steps Up to Support Sunset Ridge Elementary

Now, more than ever, we could all use a little support. Sunset Ridge Elementary found that support when the Colorado Section of the National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) donated 100 backpacks filled with all the supplies listed on the school’s 2020-2021 supply list. This year, Sunset Ridge’s bio-security protocols prohibit community or shared school supplies, so it was especially important that each student have their own set of supplies.

“Many of our families inquired over the summer asking what to do if they could not afford to buy supplies for their children,” said Roger Vadeen, principal at Sunset Ridge. “Because I knew that Jacqui and the NCJW were doing this fundraiser, I was able to alleviate their concerns and told them that we would be able to provide needed supplies for students.”

This is not the first time that the NCJW has stepped up to support Sunset Ridge. Since 2018, this grassroots organization of volunteers has raised funds to help students, families and staff.

When Jacqui Beckett, president of the Colorado section of the NCJW set a goal of filling 100 backpacks, she admitted that she was not sure they could reach that objective. “When the donations started coming in I literally shed happy tears,” said Beckett. “I was in awe with the outpouring of love and care our members showed in a time that frankly is not easy for them either. We raised 4 times as much as we had raised in at least the last 30 years for a community  service project and had more members participate (by more than triple) then I certainly can ever remember.”

For both Sunset Ridge and the NCJW, this partnership puts smiles on the faces of all those involved. “Our students have been very excited to get new backpacks. They all have told me how heavy the backpack is,” said Vadeen. “I tell them, ‘that is because the backpack is filled with everything you will need: pens, crayons, pencils, dry erase markers, notebooks, glue, Kleenex, scissors and headphones.’”

To continue this partnership through the school year, the NCJW hoped to have a tutor program for students, but due to COVID-19, they are planning to do virtual “read-ins” instead. Beckett is working to get volunteers who will read books to students over Zoom.