BOSTON (CBS) – A number of Boston Public school students received a special gift Thursday as they returned to class for the first day of the school year.

A non-profit called P.A.L., Partnership for the Advancement of Learning, handed out free backpacks to about 430 inner city students.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Doug Cope reports

Suren Nannapaneni, whose took over P.A.L. from his father, says he and his friends managed to raise about $20,000 this summer for the cause.

Nannapanen has been raising money for three years.

This year, in addition to the 430 backpacks that went to students in Boston, another 400 went to kids in New York City.

“It’s a great feeling doing this; and that’s why we come back and do this year after year,” Nannapaneni said.