Phoenixville area students from preschool through 12th grade headed back to the classrooms this week.  And thanks to the Phoenixville Community Education Foundation (PCEF) every child entered school with all the practical supplies he or she needs to be successful.

For the ninth straight year, PCEF has coordinated in-kind and monetary donations to fill backpacks for less fortunate students in the district through its Pack-a-Backpack program.  A total of 519 filled backpacks were delivered to every elementary school in the Phoenixville Area School District, plus the Renaissance Academy, the Holy Family School, and Phoenixville Area Children’s Learning Center.  Backpacks contained notebooks, crayons, rulers, highlighters, and other supplies that teachers requested all children have.

School necessities like loose-leaf paper, binders, notebooks, and pens and pencils also were delivered to the middle school and high school to be given to students who are in need of supplies. The total value of these donations was over $12,000.

The project was coordinated by PCEF Board member Dr. Chris Hussin DDS.  He and his committee gathered supplies from corporate donors like Costco, SEI, West Pharmaceutical Services, and many individual and family donors who filled the drop boxes at the Phoenixville and Kimberton branches of Phoenixville Federal Bank.  Over 120 volunteer hours were given to make the backpack program successful.

PCEF’s mission is to support and enhance education in the Phoenixville area.  Ensuring that our students are ready to learn in the classroom is just one way this non-profit organization assists our teachers and children.  “This is just a fantastic and vital program that allows area children the ability to start the school year on the same plane with regard to supplies,” said Hussin.  “We are blessed and honored to be able to have a role in diminishing the stigma associated with having reduced means.”

Since its inception in 2004, the number of backpacks provided has steadily grown.  Over the life of Pack-a-Backpack, 3,164 backpacks have been distributed by PCEF.  For more information on PCEF and its mission, please visit or call the office at 610-933-5911.