ACCESS gives backpacks, supplies to 300-plus students

The Detroit News

Starting the new school year was a cause for celebration Thursday at the ACCESS headquarters in Dearborn.

As part of the Arab-American community nonprofit’s School-Based Mental Health Initiative, the group supplied more than 300 students with backpacks and other supplies.

Students from six local elementary and middle schools, as well as their parents, received the goods and had a chance to join in various games and activities.

The event aimed to prepare students for the upcoming school year, raise awareness of the services the program provides as well as give back to those families who have supported the effort, organizers said.

“Our community is the focus of everything we do here at ACCESS,” said JoAnne Halaweh, coordinator of the health initiative. “It is important that we show our appreciation for the way that so many community members have warmly embraced our efforts over the years — even when those efforts sometimes involve subjects that are uncomfortable to address.”