The BEAT Backpack Attack giveaway is set for Thursday

CHARLESTON, W.Va. —  Five-hundred school children in the Kanawha Valley will head off to the first day of school with a backpack filled with school supplies furnished by radio station 107.3 The Beat.

Hundreds line up annual for The BEAT backpacks. (File photo)

“This makes 16 years. It seems like we started this just yesterday, but in 16 years a child that was in first, second, or third grade coming to get a backpack, now they are a parent and their kid is coming to get a backpack,” said Woody Woods, program director and on air personality for the station.

The annual Beat Backpack Attack has become a staple for local children for a decade and a half. More than 30 sponsors signed on to be part of the event and to contribute to the distribution of school supplies.

“We like to call them ‘community partners’ not sponsors. They just want to see this community grow. They’re all about Charleston and they’re all about these babies,” Woods said on 580-Live on WCHS Radio.

There will be 500 backpacks to give away Thursday afternoon, a day ahead of the first day of school for Kanawha County students. Students have to show up in person to receive the backpack and all of the supplies. There is no screening process and no charge. The only stipulation is no backpacks will be given to adults, the child must be present to accept the backpack in person.

“Not only do we get to give them a backpack, we get to see them, hug them, high five them, encourage them and have a good time,” Woods explained. “We want to encourage the young ones to have fun in school but know that school is very, very important.”

The location for the give away is at the radio studios at 1111 Virginia Street East in Charleston. Lineup begins at 2 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. Woods discouraged lining up ahead of time since little ones will get tired of hanging out for two or three hours in line.

“Come at two o’clock, I promise, we’ve got 500 backpacks and you’ll get a backpack if you come at two o’clock.”