Shell Helps Give Away Thousands of Backpacks

NEW ORLEANS (press release) – The 2021 NOLA Back 2 School Fest presented by Shell will provide 4,000 students in grades K-6 with free backpacks filled with essential school supplies – Saturday, July 31 from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the Xavier University Center located on the corner of Dixon and Broadway streets on Xavier’s south campus.  

Parents and caregivers who have pre-registered students in grades K-6 at will pick up their child’s backpacks and supplies in a drive through distribution alongside the Xavier University Center.  Parents/caregivers who utilize public transportation, arrive on foot, or by bicycle can pick up the backpacks at the entrance of the Katharine Drexel Residence Hall located on Broadway near the corner of Dixon Street.

“The upcoming school year is especially important for school-aged children who have faced numerous challenges and disruptions both at home and in school because of the pandemic,” said Steve Oprea, External Relations Advisor with Shell Exploration & Production. “It is critical for students to start the new school year with the school supplies they need from “day one.” If preparation is a key to success, we think that by providing students with necessary tools for learning, we can help set them up for success,” he added.

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“The NOLA Back 2 School backpack giveaway presented by Shell allows our children to return to the classroom with eagerness and confidence, and with the knowledge that their community believes in them and supports them,” said Dr. Reynold Verret, President of Xavier University of Louisiana. “Having their own school supplies helps children be ready for the first day of school with a positive attitude and sense of self and community. Educational equity is equity, and together we can remove barriers to learning that many students face.”

Students from throughout the Greater New Orleans Area are eligible to receive the free backpack and school supplies, however, students must be pre-registered in advance at  Parents/caregivers who are not fully vaccinated and students are encouraged to wear a face covering or mask when picking up backpacks. Volunteers will wear masks when placing backpacks into the trunks of participants’ cars. 

In addition to the backpacks and supplies, parents/caregivers will receive a bag filled with helpful information to connect them with vital community resources and providers that offer direct assistance. 

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The 5th annual NOLA Back 2 School Fest presented by Shell is hosted in partnership Xavier University of Louisiana and the Greater New Orleans STEM Initiative (GNO STEM).

To register to participate and to learn more, visit or email


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