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Mount Vernon Alumni Association Sets Students Up For Success During Drive

Happy Graham Elementary School first-graders show off their new backpacks and school supplies after receiving them from representatives of the Graham Elementary School Alumni Association.
Happy Graham Elementary School first-graders show off their new backpacks and school supplies after receiving them from representatives of the Graham Elementary School Alumni Association. Photo Credit: Contributed

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. - The past is giving back to the future as a Mount Vernon school alumni association delivered backpacks chock full of school supplies to some of the youngest students in the city.

Members of the Graham Elementary School Alumni Association presented 50 backpacks filled with everything from crayons and notebooks to folders and calculators to first graders at the school, marking the second time they hosted this now annual tradition.

According to members of the Alumni Association, they are “looking to do this every year as a way of giving back to the community and acknowledging the school’s efforts to ensure a high-quality education for children in kindergarten through the sixth-grade.”

The backpacks and supplies were purchased with proceeds raised at the Graham Heights Community Barbecue, where many of the alumni lived as children.

“To me, the younger students really appreciate these things. The backpacks are filled with notebooks, crayons, glue sticks, folders, pencils and related items of interest for second-graders,” Dino Young, a member of the Graham Class of 1970 and spokesman for the Alumni Association said.

“You always give back, that’s how I was raised by my parents. You should always come back and give (to Graham). Graham School was my first school. When I finished there, I was definitely prepared for the next step.”

Graham Principal Natasha Hunter-McGregor praised the group, noting that not many school districts have elementary schools with alumni associations going out of their way to look out for some of Mount Vernon’s youngest students.

“They graduated from our school many, many years ago,” she said. “But it’s clear when they come into the building that they have very, very fond memories of their time here at Graham. That’s how we want all of our students to feel. A positive early education experience sets the stage for future success.

“Not too many elementary schools even have an alumni association. The fact that Graham has an alumni association committed to giving back each year is fabulous.”

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