There are many ways we, as members of this community we share, can help prepare our community’s children to learn in school. Fortunately we are in a period of deep reflection on issues like school readiness and we are taking action. But just in terms of direct and unambiguous delivery of school preparedness resources, it’s hard to top 100 Black Men of Madison’s annual Backpack for Success giveaway.


For 17 years now the local affiliate and its membership of African American men have collected school supplies, loaded them in new backpacks, solicited food donations for a picnic and then invited children to come and pick up a backpack filled with stuff they need for school. This year’s celebration is this Saturday from 10 to 1 at Demetral Park on the East side. Organizers say simply all Dane County elementary and middle schools students and their parents are invited. This is a terrific event that sends a terribly important message to children: this community wants you to be successful in school, and we will help you get there.