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Ford Fund sponsors Zaman’s Back To School drive for needy kids

More than 600 Metro Detroit kids will have the backpacks and supplies they need when school begins this fall thanks to the Ford Back To School Initiative, which Zaman will help coordinate with a $12,500 grant from the Ford Fund.

This is the third year that Zaman has been a partner in the Ford Back To School Initiative, which helps low-income families with children in grades K through 12 that are served by Zaman. In addition to the backpacks, the grant purchases supplies that include writing and drawing utensils, paper, notebooks, scissors, glue, lunch bags, and study aids such as highlighters, sticky notes and index cards. High school students will receive supplemental totes that contain scientific calculators, geometry sets and binders.

The backpacks, a portion of which will be given to Detroit-based Matrix Human Services for distribution to its clients, will be filled at Zaman’s Hope For Humanity Center by the Ford Volunteer Corps and distributed there in August at a party for recipient families. The gathering will feature food, games and face painting and provide children the opportunity to select the backpack they want based on style and color.

Farah Harb, coordinator of Ford Fund Education Programs and a long-time supporter of Zaman, said Ford’s strong commitment to education goes back to founder Henry Ford, “who believed that in order to have a sustainable company, we need to have a sustainable society.”

“Education is the key building block of a sustainable society, because among other things it creates wealth and economic development and drives social mobility,” Harb said. “Investment in education is critical not only for our company, but also for our community and for the future of our students. We are proud to partner with Zaman to help prepare our students for success.” 

Monica Boomer, director of community engagement, said the Ford Fund’s commitment to helping kids succeed academically “aligns perfectly” with Zaman’s work to break the cycle of generational poverty by helping families keep their kids in school.

 “Ford has grown into a strong supporter of Zaman’s work in large part because of our mutual emphasis on education,” Boomer said. “It’s an honor to be trusted with these funds and to help advance this important work in the community.”