BALTIMORE (WJZ) — As students get ready to head back to class, one local program is making sure area kids have the supplies they need to succeed in the new school year.

Volunteers gave out 200 backpacks Friday at the Volunteers of America’s Pratt House for the group’s Operation Backpack program.

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“Operation Backpack is our national initiative to collect school supplies for children in a variety of different ages from kindergarten to high school so that they will be prepared for the first day of school with everything that they need,” said Lauren Puryear, the Pratt House’s program director.

Each backpack was packed full of supplies for students based on their age. Elementary students get watercolors and markers while high schoolers got dictionaries and calculators.

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Mother of three Ashley Tate said the program really makes a difference in preparing her daughters for success at school.

“I’m a single mom and sometimes it’s hard to get them everything they need for school,” she said. “So it’s a very great thing that they help us out with backpacks and uniforms.”

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School starts for students in Baltimore City Public Schools September 3.

Stetson Miller