June 19, 2019

For the fifth year in a row, team members of HSAwareness filled and donated 24 brand new backpacks brimming with supplies for preschoolers at Chicago Commons Paulo Freire Family Center to prepare them for their first year of kindergarten. These students were given all of the essentials for a successful school year including folders, notebooks, crayons, markers, glue sticks, pencils, pencil sharpeners, erasers, and even stickers to decorate all of the above.

Each year, the HSAwareness team customizes the bags by adding name tags or an inspirational quote. This year, the young students found a note attached to each backpack saying, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go,” a message from I Can Read With My Eyes Shut by Dr. Seuss.

HSA Commercial’s CEO Bob Smietana is a long-time Chicago Commons board member, and the back-to-school drive is one of many programs HSA has supported at Chicago Commons over the last few years. Chicago Commons, which is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, has a long history of community service and currently operates seven centers in the Chicagoland area that offer early childhood education programs, family services, and senior support. The Paulo Freire Family Center provides comprehensive early childhood education programs for local families-in-need focusing on parent/guardian engagement.

We would like to sincerely thank everyone that donated their time and money to the back-to-school drive, and we would certainly want to wish the best of luck to the new kindergartners!

Related Staff

Josephine Thomas-Hoytt, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

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