Press Releases


Education Commissioner Russell-Tucker Encourages CT Businesses to Participate in Third Annual School Staff Appreciation Digital Backpack Program

(HARTFORD, CT) — Connecticut Education Commissioner Charlene Russell-Tucker is encouraging Connecticut business leaders and businesses to participate in the Third Annual School Staff Appreciation Digital Backpack Program by opting-in to provide discounts to school staff over the summer.

"We're excited to announce the return of the School Staff Appreciation Digital Backpack Program. It is our way of saying thank you to all our school staff for their hard work and dedication throughout the year,” said Commissioner Russell-Tucker. “As our educators and support staff continue to foster the growth, development, and well-being of all our students, the discounts provided by this program during the summer months are well deserved. It is a small gesture to show our appreciation for the incredible impact our school staff make in the lives of our students and communities.”

“I encourage businesses of all sizes throughout Connecticut to check out the Digital Backpack Program and consider providing discounts to school staff as a small way to show appreciation for their hard work,” said Lieutenant Governor Susan Bysiewicz.

Like in prior years, this program will provide special discounts to all PK-12 school staff, including Adult Education program staff, over the summer months.

Eligible public and private school staff include bus drivers, paraeducators, administrators, school nurses, teachers, school nutrition staff, school counselors, school psychologists, custodians, and everyone who plays a part in the school ecosystem.

“Being an educator has perhaps never come with more responsibility than it does today, and Connecticut’s public school teachers appreciate the support of our business community as we work to support our state’s greatest asset and treasure: our students,” said CEA President Kate Dias.

“It’s easy to offer kind words for teachers, paraeducators, school nurses, custodians, school counselors, librarians, food service professionals, and bus drivers,” said Leslie Blatteau, AFT Connecticut vice president for prek-12 educators. “Backing up that recognition with tangible deeds is a great example of real solutions for kids and communities across Connecticut.”

“We know that our communities depend on the vital work we do every day to deliver what our students need to thrive and succeed,” said Shellye Davis, AFT Connecticut vice president for paraprofessionals & school-related personnel. “When local businesses participate in the School Staff Appreciation Digital Backpack Program, they demonstrate that they truly value our contributions.”

The School Staff Appreciation Digital Backpack Program will run this summer from June through the end of August.

To learn more, go to




For immediate release:

Matthew Cerrone
Director of Communications
Connecticut Department of Education
Phone: 860-424-1988

Twitter: CT State Department of Education Twitter
Facebook: CT State Department of Education Facebook