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Students Start School Year With Free Backpacks

Costco Donates More than 400 Bags

Students start off school year with free backpacks

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Summer break is over and most local classroom doors are now open.  The job for teachers and staff at Adams Elementary School is to get the new year off to a good start.

"Boys and girls, there's a lot of friends here today," School Principal Amy Alzina told the incoming students on Monday.

At their first assembly, more than 400 students packed the gym.  Alzina used the gathering to get her students up and ready for learning

"Can you give me your best?  I can't hear you. Can you give me your best?" she asked a cheering crowd of kindergarteners through fourth-graders.

Third-grader Emily Pineva wants to start this school year on the right foot.

"I'm going to enjoy it and get a good night's sleep," she said.

To help students be successful, Costco in Goleta made a generous donation of more than 400 backpacks and supplies.

"I think it's really nice that Costco lets us have backpacks," said Joanna Neri, a third-grader at Adams Elementary.

"It's awesome!" said fourth-grader Carlos Napoles.

The bags come with supplies, which is helpful for some families.

"It levels the playing field so that all students have the same school supplies,"  Alzina said. "It really helps families out and also the students so they don't feel that pressure when they come to school."

"It's very exciting, and it's great to see their smiles, and they're so excited about going to school," said Costco Marketing Manager Sue Palaszweski.

"I love school," said second-grader Karla Flores as she clutched her new bag.

The backpacks cost around $15 each, including the supplies inside.

Back in the classrooms, teachers are gearing up for another year.

"We're all very excited, and I think the kids are, too. But I think I'm more excited than them," said teacher Andrew Martin.

Slideshow: Students start off school year with free backpacks

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