Who We Are
Back 2 School Alliance (BTSA) is a group of volunteers and community partners dedicated to supporting students in need. Since 1999, we have been working hand in hand with Bloomington District 87, Normal Unit 5, and Illinois Prairie Community Foundation to bring kids and community together by putting backpacks and school supplies into the hands of the children who need them most.
It is hard to believe, but about 1 in 3 students in Bloomington-Normal schools qualify for a free or reduced lunch at school. There are approximately 5,500 K-8 eligible students and 1,700 eligible students in grades 9-12.
The Back to School (BTSA) program exists to encourage and reward completion of public school registration and any school mandated medical and immunization requirements by parents for qualifying within District 87 or Unit 5 schools ahead of the beginning of the school year, so students have the supplies they need to begin school on day ONE.
BTSA seeks to promote awareness of available resources to families in our community who support health, education, and social service organizations, and government initiatives.
It’s about the kids
- Helping them get off to a good start when school begins
- Putting the most basic tools in their hands to help them achieve success in their education
- Creating a positive experience as they start the school year
It’s About This Community!
- We know the future of our community is impacted by the academic success of our students today. By helping them, we are building a stronger community for tomorrow.
- Volunteers from Bloomington-Normal have built an impressive track record for coming together to support student success. Despite COVID in 2021, we increased our backpacks by 30 percent, from 3000 to 4000.
- 2000 backpacks were distributed at a drive-through event at State Farm's Corporate South location.
- State Farm employees assisted the committee in designing and planning the logistics, along with transporting our backpacks for the 2021 event.
- An additional 500 backpacks were given to each of the districts for students.
- People want to help in real, tangible ways. Volunteers have been giving selflessly year-round - planning, organizing, delivering collection boxes, hosting community supply drives, sorting supplies, packing backpacks for distribution, setting up for the Party, and serving at the Party, just to name a few!
Dayna Brown (Unit 5)
Julia Perez (Dist 87)
Dr. Rena Shifflett