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September 28, 2023

Free school supplies give kids a boost

WATSONVILLE—Around 300 area students were presented with free backpacks loaded with school supplies Saturday thanks to the Salvation Army in Watsonville and a handful of other groups. 

By 10am a lengthy line of students and their families lined up at Watsonville Plaza to fill new backpacks with pencils, notepads, glue, binders and the standard list of goods that will help them with their education over the year.

“It’s difficult for a lot of the families to afford all the supplies to get their kids back into the classroom,” said Trina Coffman-Gomez, president of the Rotary Club of Freedom. “This is just a way to give back to the community.”

Other groups pitching in included Watsonville Fire and Police Departments, the American Red Cross, Rotary Club of Freedom, Boy Scouts, Community Action Board of Santa Cruz, Arts Council of Santa Cruz County and Cabrillo College.

Rosa & Jose Camacho performed live folklorico dancing and singing. Hot dogs, ice cream and granola bars were provided by the Pajaro Valley Unified School District at the two-and-a-half-hour event.

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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