Archives for September 1, 2017

Office Depot Foundation Donates 100,000 Sackpacks With School Supplies In 17th Year of Its National Backpack Program

ODF Program Logos

For the past 17 years, the Office Depot Foundation has donated more than 4 million sackpacks to children around the world as part of its National Backpack Program. This summer, the Foundation, which is the independent charitable giving arm of Office Depot, Inc., will be donating 100,000 colorful new sackpacks to nonprofit organizations, schools and agencies across the United States and internationally.

 

“It is our mission to make sure that every child has the right tools to achieve success in school,” said Mary Wong, president of the Office Depot Foundation. “School is challenging enough on its own, and when you’re unable to come prepared with the basic essentials for learning, it’s nearly impossible. We want to give every kid a fair chance.”

 

To deliver sackpacks directly to children, the Foundation is hosting Back-to-School celebrations in select cities across the U.S. in July and August. This year, in addition to donating sackpacks to children who need them most, the Foundation is highlighting the importance of STEM and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) programs in our nation’s schools. To encourage kids to explore these important curriculums, the Foundation has partnered with Captain Vernice “FlyGirl” Armour, America’s first African American female combat pilot, who will make special guest appearances at the Foundation’s Back-To-School celebrations in Los Angeles and Chicago.

 

Thousands more sackpacks are being given to kids through the Office Depot Foundation’s continuing partnerships with a number of nonprofit organizations serving children nationally and globally. The Foundation is collaborating with Food For The Poor, Feed the Children, the National Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Association, the National Foundation for Women Legislators and the AARP Foundation.

 

The specially designed, drawstring-style sackpacks come in seven bright and fun colors. Each one includes a zippered pouch containing a pen, pencil, pencil sharpener, eraser, six-inch ruler and four crayons.

 

More information about the National Backpack Program can be found on the Office Depot Foundation’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/officedepotfoundation. To learn more about the Office Depot Foundation and its initiatives, go to www.officedepotfoundation.org/. You can follow the Foundation on Twitter @OfficeDepotFndn; the National Backpack Program’s hashtag is #ODFcares. The Foundation is also on Instagram: @officedepotfoundation.

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About the Office Depot Foundation

The Office Depot Foundation is an independent foundation − tax exempt under IRC Sec. 501(c)(3) − that serves as the independent charitable giving arm of Office Depot, Inc. In keeping with its mission, Listen Learn Care®, the Foundation supports a variety of programs that give children tools to succeed in school and in life; build the capacity of nonprofit organizations through collaboration and innovation; and help communities prepare for disasters, as well as recovering and rebuilding afterwards.  For more information, visit www.officedepotfoundation.org.

 

Self Disclosure: I received free sackpack samples to post. Photos and information were also provided. 

The Bazillions Carry Kids through the School Year! Rock-n-Roll Yearbook available now! Giveaway Opportunity!

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One of the most exciting – and anxious – times in a young person’s life is the start of the school year. This fall, The Bazillionsprovide young students with a soundtrack to carry them through the school year:  Rock-n-Roll Yearbook, available on August 25.

 

The Bazillions, known for their “pitch perfect twangy indie pop rock,” tight harmonies and tangentially educational songs and music videos, are a Parents’ Choice and NAPPA Award winning mom-and-pop indie band based in Minneapolis. Led by former teachers and current life partners Adam and Kristin Marshall, The Bazillions have released three previous award-winning albums:Rock-n-Roll Recess, Heads or Tales and On the Bright Side. Animated videos onThe Bazillions YouTube channel have generated more than 6 million views. Radio shows around the nation – including SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Radio Disney and 89.3 The Current – have been spinning their tunes since the band launched in 2010.

 

From the first hand-clappy track “Back to School,” the energy remains high on this new album. “New Pair of Shoes” expresses the joys of getting new gym shoes and being able to run faster than ever, and “That’s My Style” celebrates individuality. Learning opportunities arise with “Take Turns” to “Who What Where When Why” and “The Wide Open World of Adjectives.” Some songs are aspirational, like “You Could Be the One” and “Queen Ellen of Spelling Bee.” “More To Be Done” embraces the future and how children have an important voice in making the world a better place. Flights of fancy make a boring day better on “Just Another Monday.” And “Keep Your Identity Safe” is a poignant ballad about a superhero-style pact between friends as one of them moves away. The album ends with the exuberant “Summer’s Here.”

 

Appealing to adults, Rock-n-Roll Yearbook is chock-full of musical references, from The Fab Four to The Who, The Monkees and Elvis Costello to bossa nova master Antônio Carlos Jobim‎. Songwriter Adam Marshall grew up steeped in the bright harmonies and hooks of 60s bands like The Hollies and The Mamas and the Papas. His SiriusXM favorites list is topped by the Beatles channel. Kristin Marshall grew up infatuated with harmony. Her mother sang in a Sweet Adelines group, and she and her siblings often tried to mimic the harmonies together. Kristin and Adam met acting together on a theater tour. One day, Kristin started harmonizing with songs on Adam’s demo tape, and he realized that her voice made everything sound better. They formed the indie pop band The Humbugs and moved to the Twin Cities. As they both taught at Kenny Elementary School, they started writing and recording songs and formed The Bazillions, almost as a lark. The project took flight, and today The Bazillions perform hundreds of shows around the Twin Cities and beyond, and their videos have been viewed by kids on every continent. The Marshalls live and work in Minneapolis with their two children.

 

Teachers and parents write to The Bazillions every day to say how they learn from their songs and videos. They’re excited to share Rock-n-Roll Yearbook with fans. “It came together so naturally,” says Adam. “I was writing a bunch of new songs and realized that they corresponded with events during a school year.” Adds Kristin, “Our goal became to create a story where the listener can imagine a child, or themselves, going through the school year and all the events that they might experience. We are still so connected to school life through our teaching experiences and our own children. All of this inspired and informed these songs.”

 

The Bazillions are developing a downloadable “Rock-n-Roll Yearbook” for fans to track their progress through the coming school year, and they’ll be producing new animated videos.  Stay tuned through the school year at TheBazillions.com.

http://www.thebazillions.com/yearbook/

We have teamed up for a Back-to-School Giveaway! To enter, leave a comment below! Deadline to enter is September 5th, 2017 at noon PST. One winner will randomly be selected. U.S. Residents only.

Self Disclosure: I received a CD to facilitate this post. Infomation and image were provided courtesy of Sugar Mountain PR.