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Though it was the sixth annual event, LJISD adapted to the pandemic and held their first drive-thru Back to School Bash last week.
On Thurs. Sept. 3, 2020, the La Joya Independent School District aimed to support families by providing school supplies and backpacks to students in the community. With three separate drive-thru locations, district leaders and administration spent the afternoon distributing items before the start of the 2020-2021 school year.
Each location, which included La Joya High School, Palmview High School and Juarez-Lincoln High School, provided 300 backpacks with supplies to families. Board member Nereyda Cantu said it was exciting to see families lining up for the event.
“It’s the least we could do,” Cantu said. “I’ve seen lines like these all week, because students have been picking up their devices and electronic materials. It makes me feel like they’re ready and excited to start school.”
Cantu said the school year will be different for everyone – students, parents, teachers and administration alike. A mother to students in the district, Cantu has been proud to see LJISD step up for students in a time of need.
“This is new to all of us,” Cantu said. “The more ready we are, the more equipped we are with our supplies and materials, the easier it will be for us to adjust. The adjustment is going to be the hardest.”
The supplies and backpacks were paid for by numerous sponsors according to LJISD, and included notebooks, pencils, colored pencils, rulers, masks and hand sanitizer. Superintendent Dr. Gisela Saenz, who passed out supplies at La Joya High School, said it was important to ensure all students have access to the supplies they need for distance learning.
“Kids have been away from school for such a long time,” Saenz said. “We’re helping parents with a little bit of school supplies in these times that are very hard.”
Saenz noted there are several parents who have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic, so the district is doing everything they can to make things easier.
“They’re struggling in many different ways,” Saenz said. “This is one way we can support parents a little bit financially.”
She added that the supplies will also provide more emotional support for the students.
“The district is still thinking of them, they’re important to La Joya ISD,” Saenz said. “We want them to do well. This is a little bit of a financial support for the parents, and a little social-emotional support for our students as well.”