4th Annual Ready for School Backpack-A-Thon® presented by Bank of America


Support Cradles to Crayons’ Ready for School initiative and help more than 50,000 local children to succeed in school this year!

The Initiative

Cradles to Crayons’ Ready for School initiative helps thousands of Chicagoland children in need to be prepared and excited to learn. To help alleviate the effects of poverty on school readiness, the program distributes backpacks filled with new, age-appropriate school supplies and KidPacks filled with shoes, clothing, and more to ensure that kids arrive at school ready and excited to learn.

The Need

1 in 3 children in Chicagoland lives in poverty. Research has proven that when children are not fully prepared for the first day of school, their success is compromised.

Items like backpacks, art supplies, writing tools, and back-to-school clothing are essential to prepare children mentally, emotionally, and physically for school. New backpacks and supplies give children a sense of pride and excitement as they begin the school year. Children who have these essentials are more likely to attend school and complete homework — knowing they have the same chance at success as their peers. Parents can focus on rent and groceries instead of facing the stress of school-related expenses.

We need your help to provide children with the school supplies they need to translate their knowledge and creativity into confidence and good grades.

“The beginning of the school year is very exciting for children returning to school, but it can also be very financially trying for families with limited resources. When we distributed the backpacks last year, we noted two key things: the excitement on the faces of the children and the relief on the faces of parents who knew — at that moment — that their child would attend the first day of school, like all the other kids, with a backpack full of supplies that can be very costly for a family with limited resources.”

Help Cradles to Crayons help local children get prepared and dressed for success!

Support Our 4th Annual Backpack-A-Thon Presented by Bank of America

Wednesday, August 21st, 2019

Daley Plaza, 50 W Washington St, Chicago, IL 60602

The 4th Annual Backpack-A-Thon Presented by Bank of America brings together more than 750+ corporate volunteers to pack 50,000 backpacks in under three hours – this is a 100% growth in the program from 2018 in kids served and volunteers. Backpacks are filled assembly-line style with all the new school supplies a child needs which are then distributed to our Nonprofit Social Service Partners on the same day. This high-energy and high-impact event includes a live DJ, high-profile guest speakers, lunch, and prominent PR for our top sponsors. Take a look at our video from two years ago where we packed 17,000 backpacks! We welcome the opportunity to customize a sponsorship and recognition package that meets your firm’s needs.

To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, contact Chelsea Morris at cmorris@cradlestocrayons.org

Agenda for the Event

9:30-10:00 am: Registration, coffee, snacks

10:00 am: Kickoff from Cradles to Crayons leadership and guest speaker

10:15 am-12:50 pm: Backpack stuffing! Refreshments provided

12:50 – 1:00 pm: Golden Pencil Awards, closing remarks

1:00pm: Lunch

Golden Pencil Awards

Ready for a little friendly competition? Does your team have what it takes to win a Golden Pencil Award?

Throughout the day, we’ll be keeping an eye out for excellence! Can your team pack a backpack while they bust a move? Or maybe you’re so organized that you have all your pencils in a row.

Our prestigious Golden Pencil Awards will be given out at the end of the day to the teams who showed nothing lacking in their backpack packing!

Rookie of the Year

Show off your first-time skill set — newness doesn’t faze your team!

Dressed for Success

Fashion Week-worthy shirts and grace under fire — this team’s style sets trends.

Backpack Boogie Award

Dance moves only enhance this team’s productivity — the conga line anyone?

MVP (Most Valuable Pencil)

You gave 110% percent all day with your commitment, skill, and passion for the cause — we couldn’t have done it without you!

Current Sponsors

Cradles to Crayons looks forward to engaging your company in this high-impact opportunity to give back. Contact Chelsea Morris, Senior Manager of Corporate Relations cmorris@cradlestocrayons.org for more information, or to discuss how your organization can get involved in our Ready for School initiative.

Thank you to our 2019 in-kind sponsors:

Aaron’s Reliable Movers |  CEM Events | Comcast | Freeman | Grand Foundation | Just Salad | MOOvers Chicago

Move-Tastic! | ParkWhiz | PepsiCo | RxBar | S.B.C. Waste Solutions | Schelp | Starbucks | The Professionals