Backpack 4 Kids AZ: Valley teen makes sure students are ready for school

One teen is making sure students have the right tools they need to succeed. She's been gathering donations and school supplies to help families who cannot afford them. FOX 10's Courtney Griffin reports.

- 13-year-old Kaitlyn Martinez is helping hundreds of kids by making sure they're fully prepared for the school year.

Kaitlyn's filling up backpacks with school supplies and handing them out to students across the valley for free!

"When one of my friends didn't have supplies to pass a test and she didn't want to say anything about it so that got me thinking," she said.

Kaitlyn and her mother created a plan.

"We started talking and she's like, 'You know how many other kids are going through this?' and I was like, 'Let's do something about it, we can work on it together,'" Michelle Tallberg said.

They made a Facebook page and got help from local businesses to bring in donations.

"It's very important, especially nowadays because there are a lot of bullies and when kids; they can't stand in front of their classmates, 'Oh, I don't have this stuff,' you know, because it is embarrassing," Michelle said.

The freshman supplied 300 students with backpacks so far this year and plans to keep it growing.

"They come with two notebooks, four pencils, one box of crayons, one eraser and one highlighter," Kaitlyn said.

In addition to the school supplies, the teen is also creating another backpack called "Love Bundles," which will go to foster children.

"Which are backpacks filled with basic necessities, stuffed animals, toys," she said.

Kaitlyn says seeing the smile on all of the kids faces makes it all worth it.

"It was just really nice, it made me happy," she said.

Kaitlyn's mom, Michelle, said she is very proud of her daughter.

"I'm very proud," she said. "She's just amazing overall, good student and big-hearted."

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