Starting school can be both exciting and stressful—especially when something as simple as buying pencils and paper can be a financial challenge for a family. At Reynolds Middle School, though, dozens of students are starting the new school year with free backpacks fully loaded with school supplies, courtesy of the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association (FBICAAA).
Oregon FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association president Claude Laviano and students
FBI Portland Assistant Special Agent in Charge Steven Palmer with a student
Claude Laviano, president of the Oregon chapter of the FBICAAA, said, “I’m constantly astounded at how deeply, quickly, and effectively our members embrace community initiatives. It took just one request to unleash a tsunami of support for the Reynolds School District backpack and school supplies drive. From our annual fundraiser to fight human trafficking to the Adopt-A-Family Christmas gift drive, the Oregon FBICAAA is an engaged community of volunteers stepping up to do more than expected—always.”
The FBICAAA is made up of graduates of the FBI’s Citizens Academy program and is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization separate and apart from the FBI. The FBICAAA sponsor many community outreach events.
Stacy Talus, principal of Reynolds Middle School, said, “We are committed to supporting each and every one of our students, and we want to eliminate any barriers to them receiving a quality education. Events such as the backpack giveaway serve our students and set them up for success starting the new school year.”
“We appreciate our partnership with the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association,” said Renn Cannon, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon. “Their compassion and involved citizenship promote a stronger community for all of us.”
Reynolds Middle School currently has 970 students. FBI employees joined in handing out backpacks and celebrating the start of the new school year with students. They also gave out educational material about Internet safety, the FBI Child ID app, and the new FBI Fitness Test app to both students and parents.