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Senator Hassan Recognizes Caroline Keane of Concord as September’s Granite Stater of the Month

Caroline Keane

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan recognized Caroline Keane of Concord as September’s Granite Stater of the Month. For the past eight years, Caroline has organized the Ready to Learn Fair, where Concord School District students can receive free backpacks and other school supplies.

Nine years ago, while Caroline was an education assistant for Rundlett Middle School’s autism program, she came across a young student using a plastic bag as a makeshift backpack. She began raising money to purchase school supplies and reaching out to local businesses and organizations to donate materials or provide free services. Since then, the Ready to Learn Fair has expanded beyond school supplies, even helping provide free haircuts from the New England School of Barbering, and has become an essential part of the school’s community. After the fair, Caroline stores any leftover supplies in a closet at the school, so that students can access supplies they may need throughout the year.

Senator Hassan launched the “Granite Stater of the Month” initiative in 2017 to recognize outstanding New Hampshire citizens who go above and beyond to help their neighbors and make their communities stronger. To nominate a New Hampshire citizen to be a “Granite Stater of the Month,” constituents can complete the nomination form here.

To read Senator Hassan’s statement for the Congressional Record, see below.

I am honored to recognize Caroline Keane of Concord as September’s Granite Stater of the Month. For the past eight years, Caroline has organized the Ready to Learn Fair, where Concord School District students can receive free backpacks and other school supplies.

About nine years ago, when Caroline was an education assistant for Rundlett Middle School’s autism program, she came across a young student who was attempting to carry his books in a flimsy plastic bag, crying. He was upset because the plastic bag -- his makeshift backpack -- had torn open.

She began raising money to purchase school supplies and reaching out to local businesses and organizations to donate materials or provide free services.

Over the past eight years, the Ready to Learn Fair has expanded beyond just school supplies and has become an essential part of the school’s community. At the fair, the New England School of Barbering provides free haircuts – and there is a long line for this every year. Caroline also works to bring representatives from the district’s Free and Reduced Lunch program to the fair so that families can sign up their kids. Last year, families could get their COVID-19 vaccines, and this year she is collecting winter supplies such as coats and hats for students in need. After the fair, Caroline stores any leftover supplies in a closet at the school, so that students can access the supplies throughout the year.

After seeing a need in her community, Caroline took action to make sure that students, regardless of their family’s income, are prepared for school – helping students succeed and alleviating parents’ stress. Even beyond this impact, Caroline’s initiative brought her community together, from volunteers, to small business owners, to the school’s maintenance team, to donors. Caroline’s initiative represents the Granite State spirit of taking care of your neighbors and bringing people together for a common goal, and I commend her for her work.

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