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Give survival-kit backpacks to homeless APS students

Paige Brown of Rudy’s Bar-B-Q organized a grassroots supplies drive last year that gave 100 backpacks full of gear to homeless teenagers attending Albuquerque Public Schools.

She writes:

“As I watched a news program one evening documenting a story about efforts aimed at trying to keep homeless kids in school, I was incredibly moved at what it must take to remain committed to school when your basic needs are not being met. For many kids, school becomes their only anchor in life, and as many of us know, the anchors that keep us feeling secure and able to pursue our dreams are something that many of us are blessed with.”

No doubt it’s hard to stay in high school when you’re sleeping in a shelter or in a car or on the street. In 2007, there were a little more than 3,000 homeless children enrolled in an APS school. In 2009, there were about 5,000, according to the APS Title I Homeless Project.

This year, Brown wants to up the ante. She’s looking for 250 Teen Survivor Backpacks. They will be collected at a reception on the Rudy’s patio (2321 Carlisle NE) between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Here’s what we should bring:

APS High School Supply List

1 sturdy backpack

12 pencils (#2)

6 pocket folders (with brads and pockets)

2 pink eraser

1 box colored pencils

4 college spiral notebooks

1 binder

4 packages lined paper (college)

2 glue sticks

1 zipper bag or school box

2 red pens

2 highlighter markers

4 ball pens (black or blue)

1 calculator

1 zip drive (2 to 4 GB)

1 ruler

1 protractor

1 compass

Other supplies a homeless high school student can use:

Snack pack, granola bars, etc.

Shampoo and conditioner


Toothbrush and toothpaste

Hand sanitizer

A blanket


Monthly (city) bus passes

Gift card for food, clothing, shoes

ACT study guide/practice book

A popular high school-level fiction, biography, or dictionary (including bi-lingual)

Anything else the donor sees fit, a surprise that can bring cheers, motivation and encouragement to the student is very welcome.


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