POMPANO BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Broward County is opening up its doors to students once again as the new school year is upon them.

The Broward Education Foundation teamed up with Office Depot to make sure students have the supplies they need for this upcoming semester, which starts on Tuesday.

Markham Elementary School hosted a backpack donation event for students and parents at 11:45 a.m., Monday.

“I’m so grateful for the partnership that we have with Office Depot, they selected Markham Elementary School as one of their sites, they’re giving away 570 backpacks today plus a $20 gift card for their parents said, Dr. Vickie Cartwright, superintendent of Broward County Public Schools.

School bags contained crayons, notebooks and glue; everything students might need to thrive this new academic year.

One volunteer said $150,000 worth of backpacks and supplies were donated to families at the event.

“We are just so excited, so excited to see the smiles on these kids faces as they receive their backpacks full of supplies,” said Shea Ciriago of the Broward Education Foundation.

Office Depot’s “Start Proud” program has five of these giveaways across South Florida, also raising $30,000 to award teachers with much needed supplies, which included Markham’s very own Jaqueline Richards.

“I’m going to put everything to good use,” Richards said.

It is a great way to give students a head start at success.

“Catch up with my dreams and learn new stuff,” said Mia Miraldea, a fourth grader.

Another event took place at Gulfstream Academy to get students excited for the new year in school.

As children and adults prepare for the academics ahead, the school district struggles with a shortage of 150 teachers.

Cartwright, who is in her first full year as the head of schools, discussed her plan last Wednesday.

“There’s possibly going to be some of our teachers who are here at the district office having to go in and fill those vacancies until we can officially find the final teacher for the students,” said Cartwright.

A new alert system will replace the Code Red measure that was once common in public schools. This decision came after many school shootings broke out this year alone.

The color coding was confusing for many in the past, so clear instructions such as hold, secure and lockdown are now easily readable on a yellow pamphlet that will be accessible throughout the school.

BSO helped prepare for the new school year with active shooter training drills.

The Miami-Dade Police Department also had an active shooter drill on Aug. 3.

Miami-Dade will open its doors to students on Wednesday with a new superintendent.

Dr. Jose Dotres is a graduate of the Miami-Dade public school district.

“This is a building relationship,” said Dotres. “We have lost some of that as a result of the pandemic. We have an opportunity to reconnect like never before.”

Cartwright spoke at Markham Elementary to introduce the event to the community and welcome everyone to the giveaway.

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