WARREN COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Fourteen local kids are headed back to school with new backpacks, books, school supplies, snacks, and hygiene items this year, thanks to a program created by the Warren County Probation Department. The department created a partnership with private organizations to provide the goods to young people who have been part of Probation Department programs.

“We wanted to ensure our young people started the school year well, and we are thankful for the help we had from our community partners to put together backpacks filled with items that they will need in school and at home,” said Warren County Probation Director Robert Iusi.

Students picking up their backpacks got some knowledge to go along with them. Roxanne Macaulay Westcott visited from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Warren County. Westcott spoke as a Y-ReCONNECTS Parent Ambassador, giving tips on class attendance, routine and healthy habits for kids headed back to school. Kids also heard about resources offered by the Warren & Washington Counties Youth Bureau, and programs offered by WAIT House.

The backpacks and their contents were donated by Warren County Health Services, Fort William Henry Resort, Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Southern Adirondacks, Ben Osborn Memorial Fund, Glens Falls Rotary Club, and Schoolapalooza. The Warren County Probation Department works with youth who have passed through probation services in many capacities and sees gifts like the backpacks as another way to support those kids on their way.

“Our probation officers are creative in finding meaningful ways to engage our youth and our volunteer educators provided some good, real-life tips,” said Warren County Probation Supervisor Ay Secor. “The consensus was that we wanted to show our youth and families that our community is here to encourage and support their success.”