About Us

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.

The Need

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.

Our Mission

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.

Our Goals

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 2020, we increased our backpacks by 30 percent, from 3000 to 4000.
    •  2000 backpacks were distributed at a drive-through event at Normal West for Unit 5 students.
    • State Farm’s Ad services team helped us deliver 2000 sets of school supplies to eligible District 87 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!

2020 Steering Committee

Dayna Brown (Unit 5)

Julia Perez (Dist 87)

Jan Meadows

Taunia Leffler

Regina Johnson

 Gloria Spinks

Lori Hahm

Laura Duvendack

 Vickie Mahrt

 Michelle Cook

Paul Hursey 

Joanne Schumacher

 Heidi German 

 Dr. Rena Shifflett