Recently, 28 students at Franklin Elementary School received backpacks filled with school supplies. The backpacks were distributed to K–2 students in need, compliments of City National Bank

These back-to-school backpacks help ensure local low-income youth have the tools and supplies necessary to be successful, confident and prepared students this school year.

“Our partnership with United Way of Santa Barbara County is an invaluable resource to connect local businesses to those most in need,” said Leo Hamill, senior vice president and regional manager for City National Bank’s Client Service Group in the Central Coast.

“It’s exciting to see something as simple as a new backpack make an enormous difference in the lives of these students,” 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.