Ready For Learning

Children with backpacks entering school

Help 75,000+ Local Children
Be Ready To Learn in 2024!

The 2024 Cradles to Crayons Ready for Learning initiative and its signature event, Backpack-A-Thon® will provide 75,000 backpacks filled with school supplies to kids in need across Massachusetts. In addition to school supplies, our Ready for Learning initiative provides thousands of other essential items, including clothing, shoes, and more, ensuring that regardless of the challenges young students face during the school year, access to clothing and school supplies isn’t one of them.


Why this matters.

  • Three of the top 10 reasons that children miss school are related to Clothing Insecurity and a lack of school supplies.
  • The number of chronically absent students—those who have missed at least 10% of the school year— grew by 91% between 2018 and 2022.
  • For each year that a student is chronically absent, their odds of dropping out nearly double.
Student in face mask holding crayons

Support the Ready for Learning Initiative


Get involved in Backpack-A-Thon® with your company!

Backpack-A-Thon is our signature Ready for Learning event, welcoming companies from across the state. Join this high-energy, corporate teambuilding event on August 1, 2024, at Agganis Arena to help fill thousands of backpacks with school supplies alongside other volunteers, so that local kids are ready on the first day of school for a year of learning.
Check out some highlights from last year’s event!

Providing essential learning supplies to kids requires support. For more information on how your company can join our effort, please contact Derek McVay at dmcvay@cradlestocrayons.org.
Engagement & Recognition Benefits by Support Level


Make a Personal Donation!

Cradles to Crayons needs your support to help get thousands of local children prepared to learn and dressed for success! Just $33 will provide one child with head-to-toe essentials: backpack with school supplies, seasonal clothing, shoes, hygiene products, books, and more.
Click here to make your donation today!

Thank You to our Generous Supporters







Advent International, L.P.                                 



The Village Bank


A.I.M. Mutual Insurance Companies  •  Analog Devices  •  Columbia  •  Income Research Managements  •  Safety Insurance


ALKU  •  Ares Management  •  BAE Systems  •  Direct Federal Credit Union •  Eastern Bank Foundation •  Hercules Capital
Harvard Business School  •  Hilco Redevelopment Partners  •  McDermott Will & Emery  •  Mimecast  •  National Development  •  PNC Bank
STAG Industrial  •  360PR+


Abe & Louie’s  •  Encore Boston Harbor, A Wynn Resort  •  Starbucks  •  Wegmans  •  Whole Foods  •  Wild Pops



Child with Backpack
Child with backpack in front of school bus
Child with backpack in front of school bus