2019 Schools Cool Update

Please return filled backpacks by Aug. 4 (see lists below). If you are unable to do so, please contact Emily Dalsky, 952-473-6601, ext.204, and a School’s Cool committee member will reach out to make arrangements with you.

On Sunday, August 11 the backpacks will be displayed after Masses so parishioners can see the magnitude of generosity. We will then load all the backpacks into available vehicles and take them to the Banyan Community following the 10:30 am Mass. All are welcome to help load packs and join the convoy. This is a great opportunity to see Banyan if you have not had the opportunity to do so!

Serving the community

School’s Cool provides backpacks, school supplies and uniforms to children participating in the education programs at the Banyan Community in the East Phillips neighborhood of south Minneapolis. In 1999, Alison Johnson, a St. Bart’s parishioner, recognized that these basic needs had to be met for the Banyan’s children to succeed. Over the years, St. Bart’s parishioners have continued to organize this effort, sponsor children, and donate items and money to support School’s Cool. St. Bart’s provides the tools, and Banyan provides the educational and community support. The success rate of the children participating in the Banyan programs is 100 percent! Be a part of it!

3 ways to get involved!

Student Sponsor

For $325 you can sponsor a Catholic school student with backpack, school supplies and uniform essentials. School’s Cool committee does the shopping for you!

DIY Backpack

Provide a backpack and school supplies for a Banyan youth attending public school. Return filled backpacks with completed tags by the designated date.

2019-20 Supply Lists:


Please Donate

Make a donation - any amount is needed and appreciated!

School's Cool Stories


Jenny, a Banyan elementary educator, attends the kindergarten graduation at St. Helena Catholic School to celebrate with our youth. Banyan is like family, and celebrates a variety of milestones with youth and families. Starting the educational journey prepared (with a fully stocked backpack and uniform) is what later brings success. With the help of St. Bart's, Banyan brings the after school support, the supplies, and the partnership with St. Helena that ensures a healthy start to education.

Middle School

Banyan youth start planning for their future in middle school! In order for this Risen Christ student to achieve her goal of becoming a veterinarian, she and her family will need the support of Banyan. That includes after school homework help, field trips to learn from veterinarians, and a pathway to a college prep high school. Starting the school year with a backpack and uniform puts her one step ahead and ready to hit the ground running.

High School

These high school youth graduated from DeLaSalle High School and are off to college! In part because they were prepared for school every year with a new backpack, school supplies, and uniform. That means years of notebooks, pencils, art supplies, and uniforms - 13 years for many of them! To get this cohort to graduation was roughly 70 fully loaded backpacks, an accomplishment worth celebrating!

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