The United States of America is a work in progress, sustained and continued by each generation of educated citizens.

Thank you to our generous readers who help maintain that progress through the school-supplies drive of The Seattle Times Fund for the Needy.

Classes have resumed for another school year, and reader donations to this editorial-page campaign ensured that needy students were equipped with the tools of learning.

Thanks also to Hopelink, the YWCA of Seattle-King County-Snohomish County and the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness. They reach low-income families throughout Puget Sound, and turn reader donations into backpacks full of joy and confidence.

Backpacks stuffed with school supplies provide financial relief for struggling families. The quiet bonus is students arrive outfitted just like all the other kids. This year’s school-supplies campaign raised $66,561 from 703 donors. The 14-year total of contributions is $561,022. Thank you on behalf of thousands of grateful students.

Tuesday was the 226th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States. The school-supplies drive starts on the Fourth of July, and we believe Thomas Jefferson said “thank you” best:

“The reward of esteem, respect and gratitude (is) due those who devote their time and efforts to render the youths of every successive age fit governors of the next.”

From the Declaration of Independence through the signing of the Constitution and onward.