Two neighboring Catholic schools recently teamed up to make sure local students have the supplies they need for the new academic year.

On Aug. 28, St. Joseph’s Preparatory School and the Gesu School hosted a “Back to School Celebration” at which students distributed several hundred backpacks filled with notebooks, folders, pencils, crayons, markers, glue, scissors, erasers, rulers and pencil cases.

Student leaders on the Prep’s Mission and Ministry Leadership Board volunteered to help plan and staff the community event, organizing the backpack giveaway and carnival games for younger students.

The celebration was an opportunity to kick off the school year in style, with hot dogs, hamburgers, games and even a moon bounce for kids.

The communities of Gesu and the Prep, both Jesuit schools, collected the supplies throughout the month of August. The initiative also received financial assistance from the Facenda family, while the nonprofit Cradles to Crayons provided the bookbags.

Student leaders from St. Joseph’s Prep’s Mission and Ministry Leadership Board helped plan and staff an Aug. 28 backpack giveaway cosponsored by the neighboring Gesu School. (Gesu School/St. Joseph’s Preparatory School)