A variety of colorful backpacks will greet forty at need elementary grade students as they return to classes in the Sedona Oak Creek School District on August 5.

The back packs, provided free of charge by the Rotary Club of Sedona Red Rocks, also contain essential school supplies. Each backpack, suitable for grades K – 3, holds one spiral notebook, a dozen pencils, a jumbo glue stick, one wedge eraser, a box of 12 colored pencils, one safety scissor and a set of 24 assorted crayons.

Delivered to the Sedona Oak Creek School District Administrative Office on July 15, this is the fifth year that Red Rocks Rotary has donated the backpacks and supplies. They will be distributed where most needed by the SOCSD to students at both West Sedona School and Big Park Elementary School.

The backpack donation comes every year just following the completion of Red Rocks Rotary’s longest running service project which is the summer school literacy program at West Sedona School. The club’s support of the program began in 2003 at the urging of its founding member the late Ray Myrvold.

Red Rocks Rotary annually provides $1,500 to $2,500 toward the cost of the program. Red Rock Rotarians also personally visit the campus and assist the students with their reading lessons during the summer session.

The club has a long term relationship with Sedona’s schools according to its treasurer Donna Hawk. Since its inception in 2002, Ms. Hawk stated that “Red Rocks Rotary has given back more than $200,000 to the local community with much of that amount benefitting youth oriented projects and programs”.

Contributions from Red Rocks Rotary have supported the bleachers at the Jack Malmgren Skate Park, campus enhancements at West Sedona School, the Splash Pad at Sunset Park in West Sedona, scholarships for graduating Sedona Red Rock High School seniors, free child car seats for low income families, local youth sports programs, teen leadership camp and its annual Teacher of the Year awards that recognize outstanding Sedona educators.