Chicago events get kids ready to go back to school as summer winds down

John Garcia Image
Saturday, August 12, 2023
West Side events get kids ready to go back to school
The first day of school is almost here, and some fun West Side events helped get kids excited and ready to start the new year.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Events around the city of Chicago are trying to soften the blow of the end of summer by getting kids excited to go back to school.

In Austin, 5-year-old Christian Stewart picked out a new backpack and school supplies at the West Englewood back to school event as he gets ready to start kindergarten.

"The kids feel better when they go back to school with the things they need without parents struggling," said mother Tyra Grant.

Good Kids mad City and the TGI have worked all year gathering donations for events like this. The back to school effort helps about 850 families with supplies they will need when classes begin in a little more than a week.

"We just want to alleviate some cost so they can put their money toward new clothes. I know that's also a necessity," said Devante Boston, TGI movement.

Just a few blocks away at Bethel Family Chosen Ministries, there was a graduation ceremony for participants in a summer program that keeps kids engaged, safe and busy during the summer. They also get free meals.

The DL3 commercial real estate firm sponsors the camp. Their goal is to build up the Englewood community.

"A lot of this is about planting seeds of hope in the community. Those seeds of hope can blossom," said Leon Walker, DL3 sponsor.

About 2,000 people got lots of activity at the Austin back to school street fest. Michele Clark High School Principal Charles Anderson was there to help get them ready and make the most of their last few days before school.

"So we're excited about the end of summer because it's the start of school," Anderson said.

Austin has been holding this block party for a number of years since before COVID, and since they brough tit back they said the numbers are as strong as ever.