Atlanta City Council member Andre Dickens presented a class of fourth graders at Barack and Michelle Obama Academy with brand new backpacks Thursday afternoon.

The bags were stocked with school supplies, hygiene products and snacks. Councilman Dickens partnered with Atlanta Public Schools to donate 300 backpacks to the school.

The donation was made possible through the city council-APS task force that Dickens created while in office.

Dickens and his team wanted to do a backpack giveaway in the middle of the school year to ensure that kids have the supplies they need throughout the entirety of the year.

“Everybody gives [students] backpacks at the beginning of the school year, but about three or four months in, those backpacks start getting dirty,” Dickens said.

One of Dickens’ staffers also encouraged the fourth graders to use their new notebooks to journal and pursue their own creative projects outside of school. Dickens’ even shared with the class that he is in the process of writing his own book and told the students they could do the same.

The bulk of the backpacks will be donated to students experiencing housing displacement.Community organizations Love Beyond Walls and Emmaus House partnered with the district and city council to support the backpack distribution effort.

This article is one of a series of articles produced by The Atlanta Voice through support provided by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to Word In Black, a collaborative of 10 Black-owned media outlets across the country.

Bria Suggs became a General Assignment Reporter for The Atlanta Voice in August 2021. In 2019, she earned 2nd place for Best Entertainment Story at GCPA. In SEJC's 2020 Best of the South Awards, she placed...