MELVILLE, N.Y., Aug. 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC), the world's largest provider of health care products and services to office-based dental, medical and animal health practitioners, is helping more than 2,400 children in 21 U.S. and Canadian cities return to the classroom well-dressed and well-prepared as part of the Company's 15 th annual "Back to School" program. Each year Henry Schein's "Back to School" program is eagerly anticipated by the children who participate, the human service organizations that serve them, and the Team Schein Members who sponsor the children. The Program, which started modestly in 1998 by helping 150 children from Long Island, has now sponsored more than 18,000 children in need from communities across North America, providing the children with new school outfits and backpacks filled with school supplies. The largest of the "Back to School" events is taking place today at the Company's world headquarters on Long Island, where 583 children identified by 10 local human service organizations in Nassau and Suffolk Counties will participate. At the "Back to School" distribution event, which features dinner, games, balloon animals, face painting and music, the children will receive their new outfits personally selected and paid for by Team Schein Members, and backpacks filled with school supplies, books and hygiene products. Additional 2012 Henry Schein "Back to School" events are taking place in Denver, PA; Sparks, NV; Jacksonville, FL; Bastian, VA; Indianapolis, IN; West Allis, WI; Grapevine, TX; American Fork and Sandy, UT; Greenville, SC; Carlsbad, CA; Pine Brook, NJ; Columbus and Boardman, OH; Mandeville, LA; Niagara-on-the-Lake, ON; Montreal, QC; Halifax, NS; Vancouver, BC; and Concord, ON. "It is the smiles of the children that we remember long after the event is over, and we hope that they take that same happiness and enthusiasm into the classroom," said Gerry Benjamin, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for Henry Schein. "'Back to School' is an incredibly rewarding and special experience for Team Schein, as well as the supplier partners and local businesses that have donated products or provided other support to the program. This opportunity to directly give to people in need in our local communities and to know that we are helping to enhance the overall wellness of the participating children is a day that we look forward to all year." The "Back to School" program is a flagship program of Henry Schein Cares, the Company's global social responsibility program, and is supported by the Henry Schein Cares Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization that works to foster, support, and promote dental, medical, and animal health by helping to increase access to care for communities around the world.