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Westwood Elementary had a free backpack giveaway at its open house Monday night

Dayton Public Schools

Hundreds of students at Westwood Elementary School in Dayton received free backpacks and school supplies this week. That’s thanks to Revival Center Ministries. WYSO’s Garrett Reese was at the school’s open house for the giveaway.


People slowly file into the gym in Westwood Elementary School on Monday evening. Inside, there’s a ring of tables with piles of backpacks and school supplies. The kids charge in, dragging their parents behind them, and excitedly grab their new, free supplies. Revival Center Ministries donated over 400 bookbags to help students and their families get ready for the school year with fewer worries.

Belinda Mitchell is an elder in the ministry at Revival Center Ministries. She organized the giveaway and helped stuff all 400 backpacks.

"Oh, my God!" Mitchell exclaimed. "It feels awesome to give back to the community. Revival Center Ministries have always given back to the inner city community. But to do this and partner with Miss Baker, principal at Westwood School, is to just reward to see the kids smile and happy."

Revival Center Ministries also partners with Westwood Elementary for after-school programs.

Garrett is a WYSO intern and graduate of University of Dayton. He spent time covering the Dayton area with WDTN Channel 2 News after the 2019 Memorial Day Tornado outbreak. It was around this time that he began listening to NPR and fell in love with radio-based journalism. Garrett graduated from UD in May of 2021 with his Bachelor’s in Communications with a focus in journalism and graduated in May of 2022 with his Master’s. While not working at WYSO, Garrett is an avid reader, loves to play video games, and hanging out with his friends.