The National City Police Department donated bags of school supplies to more than 400 students at John Otis Elementary School on Thursday morning.
While the department does this giveaway every year for two schools, 2020 is different, with so many families in National City struggling to make ends meet during the COVID-19 crisis.
“The pandemic changed a lot of things," National City Police Sgt. Roberto Gonzales said. "It’s different for the kids. Because they have to stay home, they can’t come to school and be with their friends, so we’re trying to reach out and give back to the community somehow."
By 8 a.m., parents were lining the hallway, all 6 feet apart, waiting to get the bags, which were filled with the usual: pens, pencils and notebooks.
What’s out this year? Backpacks.
What’s in? Custom masks with the school mascot on the front.
Griselda Perez, mother of a fourth-grader, said her son is bored at home and disappointed he won’t get to attend class in person and see his friends. She said he was excited, though, to be getting a bag of supplies.
“To see this part of school at home, it’s gonna be good for him, because he was so excited to have something from school at home, so it’s good,” Perez said.
With time running out Otis Elementary principal Leticia Segura said that Thursday’s supply donation was very important in getting the children excited about their new virtual learning experience, which will begin on Aug. 24.
“They are going to meet their teacher on a computer online, so it’s going to be very difficult and very challenging, especially for those working families,” Segura said.
National City Polie will make a similar donation to Rancho de la Nacion students on Friday morning.
How to Help in San Diego County During the Coronavirus Pandemic: Find out what you can do to lend a hand during these difficult times.