Middle schoolers go without a backpack for a good cause

Middle schoolers go without a backpack for a good cause

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - Students at CT Walker Magnet School left their backpacks at home on Tuesday, all for a good cause.

6th through 8th graders participated in what organizers called "No Backpack Day," gaining perspective on the life of young people from a world away.

'It's really hard because we have a whole bunch of books to carry around," said Matthew Riggs, an 8th grader at CT Walker.

For the first time ever, Riggs came to school without a back pack, on Tuesday.

"When you have a book bag, it's easier for us because it's on our shoulder," said Riggs.

Although his substitute, a trash bag, started to tear, this lesson wasn't about being resourceful or physical strength.

'They take for granted they have a book bag," said Cordaryl Middleton, an 8th grade math teacher at the school. "They take for granted they have books. They take for granted they have supplies but those kids in Africa do not have those items at all."

Students physically had to carry their books and school supplies in their hands or makeshift bags, similar to those students in Cameroon.

"The purpose of this project and demonstration is to help children in the state and in this school in particularly understand what it feels like and what some children have to go through to get an education," said Yannick McKie, the CEO of the McKie Foundation, the group that helped facilitate the event.

In lieu of toting their own backpacks today, some students donated backpacks and other school supplies to their counterparts overseas.

"I had one student that came in this morning and said, 'Mr. Middleton I brought 9 book bags to bring over to the kids in Africa,' and I think a lot of them are really understanding," Middleton said.

Organizers said 14 schools in Charlotte, Atlanta and now Augusta have all participated in No Backpack Day this year.