Help all Winona County kids get excited for school


From: Heather Casper
Ready Set School Board member

My five year old and I are talking a lot about kindergarten. Because he has a summer birthday, my husband and I decided to wait before enrolling him, so there has been a lot of anticipation. On the morning of the kindergarten open house, over a bowl of Cheerios, he said, “Mom, I just can’t wait to show you around my new school!” He had never even been inside.

The thing he is most looking forward to is picking out his backpack. His grandparents gave him one when he was a tot and I remember thinking, “you will never fit into that huge thing.” Alas, it is now too small to hold his lunchbox.

I know how lucky I am as a mother to be able to take him “new backpack” shopping. As the cost of living continues to increase for all of us, most of our salaries struggle to keep up with the inflation. A new backpack is an easy thing to scratch off the “needs” list. Any old bag would work, right? Of course it would. But, most all of us can remember the night before our first day of school. When thinking about those moments, I suspect there is a range of feelings that bubble up from dread to excitement. Can you remember a year when you had something new to wear or take with you? Maybe a new box of perfectly sharpened crayons, a new backpack, a new pair of bright-white size-eight Keds tennis shoes that you had begged for all summer?

Help us make that bit of excitement possible for Winona County students this fall. We know that excitement about new shoes transcends to more than just shoes. Positive attitudes about school shape students’ outcomes.

Please consider sending a donation to Ready Set School. The local nonprofit organization runs a voucher program that makes sure parents have a little money designated for school supplies and clothing.

You can send donations to Ready Set School Winona County, 51 East Fourth Street, Suite 404, Winona, Minn., 55987. Call 507-474-2588 or visit for more information.


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