MIAMI (WSVN) - Hundreds of backpacks and lunch boxes were given away to the students at Henry M. Flagler Elementary School, Friday, so that they can start the school year with all the supplies they need.

It was the Miami-Dade County League of Cities’ sixth annual give away, each one at a different school. County and city officials said the giveaways give help provide students of all backgrounds with opportunities to succeed in school.

“What we’re doing here is trying to level that playing field so that our children can have the same supplies that every children in every school has in Dade County,” Suarez said. “And they can do well and be focused on what’s important, which is getting educated and learning.”

Miami-Dade County School Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said that with so many children living in or near poverty in the county, these giveaways are crucial.

“75 percent of all kids in Miami-Dade live at or below the poverty level,” Carvalho said. “So we cannot assume that they have enough food at home or the supplies they need for school. That’s why we are so thankful for the Miami League of Cities.”

Suarez said the the backpacks were filled with supplies for the students.

“We have 500 backpacks, 500 lunch boxes, and each back pack is filled with a bunch of school supplies: pens pencils, everything that you would need,” Suarez said.

And the students were thrilled. “I love it! I always wanted everything with this!” one student said. “”It’s so cool. I can’t believe it, I even have my favorite sharpie I always wanted and everything!”

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