Franklin Elementary School welcomes City National Bank employees Brian Kerstiens, Annamarie Sharpe, Amber Ortiz, Norma Wall and Susan Rogers, who partnered with United Way of Santa Barbara County to donate backpacks and school supplies to Franklin Elementary School students. (Courtesy photo)

Recently, students at Franklin Elementary School received backpacks filled with school supplies. The backpacks were distributed to kindergarten through second-grade students in need, compliments of City National Bank.

Each backpack included a pink eraser, No. 2 pencils, a pencil sharpener, crayons, washable markers, pens, a spiral notebook, scissors, a ruler, folders, school glue, a glue stick and filler paper inside.

In addition to the backpacks, a case of copy paper and a Lakeshore Learning Store gift card was presented to Franklin Elementary School Principal Casie Killgore.

“Our partnership with United Way of Santa Barbara County helps our business connect with local youth most in need,” said Leo Hamill, senior vice president and regional manager for City National Bank’s Client Service Group on the Central Coast.

“We are thrilled to help provide children with the tools and supplies necessary to be successful, confident and prepared students this school year,” he said.

Improving education is one of three major focus areas for United Way of Santa Barbara County. The organization is working to achieve a community-driven 10-year goal to increase local high school graduation rates and the number of students reading at or above grade level in every grade by 50 percent.

Getting backpacks to students who need them the most is just one piece of the larger picture.

Flannery Hill is a publicist representing United Way of Santa Barbara County.