Giving students a strong start to the school year

Posted by Dr. Sharon Desmoulin-Kherat on 8/9/2019 8:00:00 AM

A new school year is a fresh start. When students get excited about back-to-school, it’s often due to thoughts of new backpacks, shoes, notebooks and school supplies.


Many Peoria Public School families struggle to provide school supplies and uniforms for their students. Each July, Peoria Public Schools and The Dream Center Peoria host Backpack Peoria to give students backpacks and school supplies.  This year over 1,750 families attended Backpack Peoria and organizers ran out of backpacks with additional families in line. The first 750 families received a voucher to cover part of the cost of a new school uniform from Sam Harris.  It was a great event but clearly there is an even greater need. 


With that in mind, here are several more ways to help our students this month:


  • The Round Table, a project of Local 6099, collects personal hygiene, nonperishable food and new and gently-used clothing for Peoria Public School students. During the 2018-2019 school year, The Round Table gave to hundreds of Peoria Public School families. The Round Table has a “no questions asked” policy which can make the difference between a student asking for help or going without. Collection bins will be located at each PPS building on August 12 and 13 to collect donations from PPS staff members. Members of the public also can drop off donations during those two days, or anytime at Richwoods High School or the AFT-IFT office, 733 SW Washington St. in Peoria. There is a particularly great need for the following items:
    • Hygiene items: shampoo, conditioner, bath soap/body wash, deodorants, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shaving items, feminine hygiene, brushes, pics, laundry detergent, dish soap.
    • Used but in good condition school uniforms and athletic shoes
    • New socks and underwear – all sizes.

  • Peoria Public Schools Stuff-A-Bus school supply drive continues through Monday, August 12. Donation drop-off bins are located at the Walmart stores on North University and Allen Rd., and in the center court at Northwoods Mall. In addition to community partners, Walmart and Northwoods Mall, we are grateful to Advanced Media Partners (WWCT 99.9, KISS-FM 98.5 and ESPNPeoria 101.1) for their support of the Stuff-A-Bus school supply drive.

  • Join us for a Back-to-School celebration at The Peoria Public Schools Foundation’s Brats & Brew, Friday, August 23, 5 to 8 p.m. at the Peoria Riverfront Museum to raise money for school uniforms. Tickets are $40 and include a delicious brat from Alwan’s, two beers and Kitchen Cooked chips. Music provided by DJ4U. Event sponsors are Associated Bank, Mosquito Authority and the Peoria County Regional Office of Education.  For tickets go to