NEW BRITAIN - Donated school supplies were hauled onto a school bus at Lincoln Elementary School Saturday afternoon at a school supply drive organized by Dattco.
Dattco is one of the state’s largest passenger transportation companies and student transportation provider for the city’s public schools.
The number of donations on the sidewalk outside of the school grew as people pulled up to drop off supplies, including notebooks, binders, paper, pencils, pens and backpacks.
This is the first year the company has organized a school supply drive on its own, said Eliza Cole, its communications and public relations manager.
She said that the company’s bus yards have held smaller drives of their own.
The donated supplies are for all students in the district.
“It will be a nice mix of students who get the supplies. New Britain has a higher population of kids who are in need of the supplies,” Cole said. “The supplies are going to students of all ages and grades, and teachers as well.”
Many teachers have to buy supplies for the classroom, she explained, adding that gift cards were also donated, and those will go to teachers.
Dattco takes the donations to school administrators after the drive, Cole said, who then distribute them to students and families at the Back to School Bash on Wednesday, Aug. 23, at Walnut Hill Park, which will run from 4 to 6 p.m.
A phone message will go out to all New Britain student families inviting them to the event, she added, noting that students register at their school’s booth that day.
“If anyone couldn’t come to the supplies drive, they can donate at the Dattco offices at 315 South St. weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.,” Cole said
The Back to School Bash is organized by the Parks and Recreation Department and Whitsons Culinary Group.
Many people donated before the drive, noted Paul Mayer, Dattco’s vice president of marketing and communications.
He added that on Aug. 19, Dattco will be holding another supply drive for the Middletown schools.
“We hope to do this for all the schools we serve,” Mayer said. “We serve 31 towns, cities and school districts. That’s over 100,000 kids in a two-hour period every morning and afternoon.”
“We like to connect with the communities we serve. We are very grateful for the kids and school systems and think of ourselves as a community partner,” Mayer said. “We will definitely be doing this again next year; maybe even bigger.”