Packing for school success

Raytheon, Boys & Girls Clubs donate supplies to thousands of kids

Students participate in one of several hands-on STEM activities led by Raytheon volunteers during the Fill the Pack event at Los Angeles Air Force Base’s Youth Center. Raytheon partnered with 29 Boys & Girls Clubs and affiliated Youth Centers to support military-connected youth as they head back to school. 

It’s still a pencil and paper world out there.

Laptops and tablets have their place, but traditional supplies still reign in the classroom.

Raytheon partnered with Boys & Girls Clubs of America to provide more than 7,500 backpacks stuffed with school supplies to students at 29 BGCA facilities and affiliated Youth Centers in or near military communities. From Buckley Air Force Base in Colorado to Langley Air Force Base in Virginia, students received backpacks filled with pencils, pens, highlighters, notebooks, folders, glue sticks, water bottles, lunch bags and more.

Kids at some of the facilities received the backpacks as they left on the last day of summer activities. At other Fill-the-Pack events, students could choose their bags and contents, play games and win prizes. Raytheon volunteers hosted interactive, STEM-based activities with topics such as how gravity affects balloons and how objects float in water.

“The Fill-the-Pack event was an awesome opportunity for the families in our community to come together for not only free school supplies, but for educational and fun STEM activities as well,” said Katie Reynolds, youth program director at Los Angeles Air Force Base. “We are thankful for our partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America and their corporate sponsor Raytheon and all the added benefits it brings to our base community.”

The campaign is part of Raytheon’s $5 million, multi-year commitment to Boys & Girls Clubs of America. However, many of the backpacks were funded through charitable giving by Raytheon employees, who could donate supply-filled backpacks to be delivered to the participating club of their choice.

All but one of the 29 participating facilities are located in the U.S.; the exception is the Youth Center at Ramstein Air Base in Germany. Many also maintain a strong Raytheon volunteer presence that can include tutoring, mentoring or hosting STEM activities. Others are home to some of the 22 STEM Centers of Innovation sponsored by Raytheon, facilities that provide military-connected youth with access to futuristic technologies like 3-D printers, robotics and video production equipment.  

“This event is one way where we can give back to the families that sacrifice so much for us. Military families go where they are needed, when they are needed,” said Angela Juranek, Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite program manager at Raytheon and a frequent community volunteer. “It’s so great to see military kids of all ages having fun with STEM activities and walking away with a new backpack full of supplies. Their smiles are priceless.” 

Published On: 09/05/2019
Last Updated: 09/05/2019