West Valley Community Services' Back-to-School Event Aims to Equip Students for Success after a Difficult School Year

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                            
July 16, 2021


SAN JOSE – After a difficult year of remote learning, efforts to prepare students to return to school are perhaps even more important this year than ever before.

That’s why West Valley Community Services’ (WVCS) upcoming “Back-To-School” event is so welcome, said Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian. Scheduled for July 30th, the event aims to help local families access school supplies and other forms of assistance.

“Every student deserves to come to school equipped with the resources they need to succeed, regardless of income,” said Simitian, who helped sponsor this year’s event. At Simitian’s request, the County allocated $5,000 to WVCS to help purchase additional school supplies and gift cards for distribution at the event.

Though WVCS hosts a “Back-To-School” event every year, the need for these services, as well as services like rental and food assistance, has grown significantly during the pandemic, according to Josh Selo, the organization’s Executive Director.

As a result, Selo said, the organization expects at least a 15% increase in demand for these services this year, on top of the 42% increase in demand it saw last year in the first few months of the pandemic.

“We have been doing this program for many years - but this year we have more than 280 children signed up to participate.  Over the course of the last year, we have experienced a significant increase in demand for food and rental assistance. Many families participating in the Back-to-School program this year have faced income and job loss due to the pandemic. Several students have faced difficulties with school closing which has significantly impacted their mental health. We hope this year the Back-to-School program will bring hope for our families and give the kids the basic tools they need to start the school year off successfully. This program is all about making sure low-income and homeless kids start the school year off ready to learn,” Selo added.

Participants will also receive information about how to access County services like CalFresh, MediCal health insurance and rental assistance programs.

The event will take place on July 30th from 9am to 4pm at the De Anza College Visual & Performing Arts Center located at 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd in Cupertino. Simitian will be on hand for part of the day to help welcome families. Families must sign up in advance for the program, and registration is currently closed. Clients in need of this program but who have not yet registered can email the Event Coordinator, Anh Nguyen, at [email protected].

Those interested in donating online can visit wvcommunityservices.org and click "Donate Now!"  To volunteer for the event, email Bobbi Bornstein, Manager of Volunteer Services at [email protected]munityservices.org.



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