WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Wichita Falls Independent School District Foundations is taking over Project Back to School.

Cheryl Ritchie saw a need in the community — a couple of friends and a dream later, this project blossomed.

“We got a few friends together, and we decided we would see if we could do something about it,” said Cheryl Ritchie, former coordinator of Project Back to School.

Fifteen years and almost 97,000 kids later, Ritchie decided to step away from her brainchild, Project Back to School. WFISD Foundation will absorb the program to ensure Wichitans are well-equipped for the school year.

“I’m ready for us to,” January Cadotte, the executive director of Project Back to School, said. “It aligns with our mission so well. So I’m just ready for us to be able to, you know, move forward and be able to turn it into our own. I mean, we don’t plan on changing anything, but, you know, just to embrace it and for our board and for more employees within the district to get involved and get behind it and, you know, to support the bid as well.”

Ritchie leaves a huge impact on the community with this program. Lillian Harris, a dedicated community member in support of the mission, is both excited and humbled to be considered for this position.

“This position means a whole lot,” said Lillian Harris, new Project Back to School Coordinator. “It’s super special. I feel so honored and grateful that I have the opportunity to serve my community in such a special way, working alongside the team of Wichita Falls ISD Foundation. It’s just a huge privilege, and I’m just so excited.”

Project Back to School, under new leadership, will be in full swing in August.

To learn more about how Project Back to School will directly benefit WFISD students, visit the website.