Coupeville families get back-to-school help

In preparation for the school year, most families are heading to the stores to stock up on school supplies and buy new clothes.

But lower income families may find it difficult to get their children ready for the school year. To help such families in the Coupeville School District, the Back to School Project, a Langley-based group, is gathering school supplies and anything else students may need for the school year.

“It’s a successful program on the south end of the island and we were getting requests from families in Coupeville,” said Cindi Thompson, a Coupeville resident volunteering for the Back to School Project.

She hopes to help at least 75 Central Whidbey families through the project this year. Eligible families will be determined by whether they qualify for the free and reduced lunch program in the school district, Thompson said.

It could cost families several hundred dollars to supply their children for the school year and that could be a major strain on some budgets, Thompson said.

To help gather supplies, local churches and businesses are holding school supply drives. Participating churches include Coupeville United Methodist Church, Coupeville Community Bible Church and Whidbey Evangelical Free Church in Greenbank. Videoville and Coupeville Pizza Factory are also participating by offering food drives.

In addition to providing school supplies, the Back to School Project plans to raise money to provide vouchers for eligible families to be spent at stores.

“The idea is to give students a fresh start for the school year,” Thompson said.

The Back to School Project started six years ago, and is being offered for the first time in Coupeville this year.

Participating families will start seeing donations later this month. Thompson said that the group will be distributing supplies until the beginning of the school year, which, for Coupeville students, is Sept. 7.

Find help here

Central Whidbey families seeking help from the Back to School Project can call 678-4551, ext. 236.

For organizations wishing to participate in the Back to School Project in Coupeville can call Cindi Thompson at 678-3372.

Donations may be sent to the Coupeville School District, c/o Back To School Project, 2 South Main, Coupeville, WA 98239.

You can reach News-Times reporter Nathan Whalen at or call 675-6611.

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