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While students dread receiving their school supply list because it signals the start of another 180 days of learning, parents dread it for an entirely different reason: the cost.

Going back to school can be expensive; this year parents can expect to spend $662 per elementary school child, according to Huntington Bank’s Backpack Index, which annually calculates and totals the costs of school supplies, clothes and extracurriculars such as sports.

And those costs only increases with age; parents spend approximately $1,000 per middle school child and nearly $1,500 per high school child.

This year, Marco Island Wireless Zone is hoping to help alleviate the rising costs of going back to school with its School Rocks Backpack Giveaway. 

This is the fifth year that Wireless Zone, the nation’s largest wireless retail franchise offering exclusive Verizon products and services, has teamed up with The Cellular Connection (TCC) and Culture of Good to host the back-to-school event.

“Every year, TCC employees and communities around the country look forward to the backpack giveaway,” Scott Moorehead, CEO of TCC, said in a press release. “It brings our employees immense joy to give back to the young children in their communities, and we are proud to put so many smiles on the faces of the deserving families who have made this annual event such a success.”

This is the first year Marco Island Wireless Zone will be participating in the giveaway.

“We try to give back to the community as much as we can,” Bruce Capobianco, owner of Marco Island Wireless Zone, said.

In fact, just recently he donated than $10,000 worth of Wireless Zone gift cards to Naples grads "with no strings attached." Now he's looking forward to giving away backpacks to help families in need. 

"We'll be giving away 60 backpacks on Marco and another 60 at our store in Naples," Capobianco said. "Hopefully that will help kids who are less fortunate."

Each backpack will be filled with essential school supplies, he said, including pencils, paper, a pencil box, folders and glue. The event will also include some light refreshments and activities for the kids. 

"We've reached out to the local police and fire departments, so they'll be there to interact with the kids and hopefully it'll just be a fun event for everyone," Capobianco said.

Since 2013, TCC has donated more than 495,000 backpacks filled with school supplies, and this year's giveaway is expected to be the biggest yet with more than 1,300 Wireless Zone and TCC stores across the nation donating more than 235,000 backpacks full of school supplies.

One backpack per child present will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. The giveaway is open to all students, kindergarten through 12th grade, and no application or pre-registration is required.

IF YOU GO

School Rocks Backpack Giveaway

Where: Marco Island Wireless Zone, 923 N. Collier Boulevard; Naples Wireless Zone, 7335 Radio Road, Unit 8

When: Sunday, July 23, 1 – 4 p.m.

Information: Marco Island Wireless Zone, (239) 394-2010; Naples Wireless Zone, (239) 513-0100

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