Step Into School

blue background, yellow sneakers, STEP IN TO SCHOOL in blue letters

UWNEMN's back-to-school event in Koochiching County returns August 7th!

The program takes families and emancipated students who qualify school shopping to pick out a new pair of properly fitted athletic shoes for the school year.

Prior to shopping, families and students gather for a community meal where they connect with their local emergency personnel and may even enjoy a ride to the shoe store in a fire truck!

We hope to serve 50 qualified children this summer with the support of Backus Community Center, Ronnings, and International Falls and Koochiching County emergency personnel.


Thank you for your interest in Step Into School, a partnership between United Way of Northeastern Minnesota, Backus Community Center, and Ronnings.  

Applications are due July 22, 2024. Selected participants will be contacted by August 1, 2024.

To qualify:

  • Students must be K-12 and enrolled in a Koochiching County school for 2024-2025 school year.
  • Household must be under the 200% Federal Poverty Guidelines/receiving SNAP, MFIP, reduced or free school lunches. 

Questions? Contact UWNEMN Community Impact Director Crystal Royer at or call 218-215-2420.

Contact Information
Please select the time(s) that work best for you to attend a community dinner and go shoe shopping in International Falls.
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If you're interested in sponsoring this year's Step Into School event, please contact or 218-295-2424.

Step Into School is sponsored by Essentia Health, Packaging Corporation of America, TruStar Federal Credit Union, and Sanford Health