HUNTINGTON BEACH — School hasn't started yet, but families were already lined up at Oak View Elementary School last week.
At 11 a.m. Thursday, the smiling fifth-grade students were led to what they had been waiting for: 125 backpacks filled with everything they needed for school.
"We like this color and it looks cool," said Daniel Cruz, 10, of the matching maroon and yellow backpacks he and his friends picked out.
Each backpack was filled with a binder, paper, glue sticks, pens and more.
"It's good because we're going to need [the supplies] for school," Daniel said.
The Zonta Club of Newport Harbor, a women's service organization that helps women around the world, for the 13th year raised money to provide the students with the backpacks and supplies.
"We like to give back at the local level — at our own backyard," said Zonta Club member Judy Fisher.
Giving the students what they need for school helps them be mentally prepared to return, said fifth-grade teacher Patti Schraff.
"I think it's a confidence-builder for them," she said. "It gets them in the mood for school."
The children aren't the only ones who benefit, said Sherri Medrano, community liaison with the Ocean View School District. It helps the parents and the teachers too.
"It's something that's really needed in the neighborhood because of the economic downturn," she said.
Yulisa Garcia, 10, the first in line, said she wanted to get the best one.
"I'm excited," she said. "I like to go to school. I just like getting supplies a lot."