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SPH students solicit school supplies to benefit Roxbury youngsters

Charity effort part of Public Health Commission’s citywide drive

From September 1 to 8, students at the School of Public Heath will be soliciting donations of books and school supplies to benefit Roxbury sixth-, seventh-, and eighth- graders.

The SPH-based Public Health Alliance of Minority Students (PHAM) and the school’s Office of Student Services are coordinating the charity effort, which is part of the Boston Public Health Commission’s citywide Book Bag/Back-to-School Drive.

A donation box will be placed in the second floor lobby of the Talbot Building, at 715 Albany St., on the Medical Campus. Donations can include book bags, pencils, pens, notebooks, loose-leaf paper, calculators, scissors, glue sticks, crayons and three-ring binders. Used books in good condition are also wanted, in part to encourage parents to read to their children.

Gift and service certificates for clothing, personal hygiene items, and haircuts also would be greatly appreciated. Monetary donations in the form of checks should be made payable to Boston Pubic Health Commission. (Please add in the memo line “Lewis Back to School Drive Project.”) The donated items be delivered to Roxbury’s Lewis Middle School on September 9.

“One of the goals of PHAM is to increase the awareness of minority health issues in the Boston community,” says PHAM copresident Manuela Costa (SPH’05). “The organization jumped at the chance to help the Book Bag/Back-to-School event at Lewis Middle School.”

The Boston Public Health Commission organized the drive to promote literacy and reduce truancy by providing school supplies for more than 1,000 students in grades K-8 chosen by the commission’s Second Step and Connecting Families to School programs. The programs aim to promote family well-being, education, and communication through home visits and community-based services to high-risk children.

On September 9, volunteers will read selections from books at the Lewis Middle School and help welcome students back to school. In addition, the Public Health Commission’s Boston Public Health Van will provide free health screenings and health education, and outreach workers will deliver some donations to students’ homes.

For more information, contact Linda Phifer of the Boston Public Health Commission at Linda_Phifer@bphc.org.