MARIETTA, GEORGIA— From hot pink and red to blue, black, and teal, Harmony Leland Elementary School students picked out new backpacks in a rainbow of colors during a celebratory event August 3. The bags were filled with a host of school supplies plus a $20 gift card, and it was all thanks to donations from Office Depot.
In addition to the 1,000 bookbags brought for Harmony Leland staff to distribute, Office Depot also donated another 1,000 backpacks to the Cobb Schools Foundation to assist the Cobb County School District (CCSD) with any ongoing needs at other Title I schools throughout the year. The back-to-school event was part of Office Depot’s newest philanthropic program, Start Proud!™, which was created to make a substantial difference in the lives of deserving students, parents, and teachers at schools across the country by ensuring they receive the supplies they need to succeed.
Office Depot selected just 10 schools for the new program, and Harmony Leland was the only elementary school in Georgia chosen.
“I want to thank Office Depot and their partners like Boise Paper because this is awesome! Harmony Leland is the first school for the Start Proud program in the whole country,” CCSD Superintendent Chris Ragsdale said. “Without Harmony Leland’s great teachers, the school wouldn’t be one of the best places to learn.”
Office Depot didn’t stop at only helping the students get a jump start on a successful year. To the surprise of the Harmony Leland teachers, Office Depot staff unveiled pallets of school supplies that they brought for the teachers and had hidden on the school stage. One teacher leaped with excitement at the news that she had been selected for an extra gift from Office Depot. For her extraordinary efforts with the gifted students at Harmony Leland, Office Depot awarded LaShonda Tutt approximately $1,000 worth of premium supplies including a new computer.
“With Start Proud, we want to help schools and school families start the year off with confidence and take away some of the pressure,” said Alex Price, director of community relations for Office Depot. “[We want them] to start the year with pride and to start off with momentum that hopefully will carry into an even greater school year than the year before.”