CPS throws 1st in series of back-to-school bashes

Next bash will be in Washington Park

Sarah Schulte Image
Saturday, July 22, 2023
CPS throws 1st in series of back-to-school bashes
Chicago Public Schools threw its 1st in a series of back-to-school bashes at Davis Square Park in Back of the Yards on Friday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- There was a carnival of fun Friday as Chicago Public Schools helps its students gear up for the year ahead.

With exactly one month to go before school starts, Chicago Public Schools kicked off its series of back-to school bashes at Davis Square Park in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.

"We decided to do it at a park first because we really want to bring out the community," CPS CEO Pedro Martinez said.

And the community definitely showed up. Hundreds of families came out to enjoy everything from bouncy houses and basketball to bubbles and hula hoops

"We love them. The kids get out; they get to see their friends out here, and there are activities for them to do," CPS parent Maria Diaz said.

Diaz is a mother of eight children, who are all products of CPS.

"So, got to make sure they have a good education and they have my support in everything they do," Diaz said.

Martinez was on-hand to offer support. He will begin the new school year working with a new mayor and school board.

Educating thousands of migrant students will be on the list of his challenges.

RELATED: Mayor, Chicago Public Schools CEO announce welcome center for migrants on NW Side

"Even though there are challenges as we try to serve these families, for us. Our staff worries about the families themselves, making sure they have access to shelter and food," Martinez said.

Martinez said the purpose of the bashes is to get kids excited about the new school year and offer resources to parents.

"You can go to every single tent and find something you might be looking for and leave a happy camper," CPS parent Naeem Johnson said.

Johnson brought his 5-year-old son, Nasir. He is excited to be starting kindergarten after a fun year at a CPS pre-K program.

"There are fun things to do; they have toys and blocks and stuff," Nasir said.

But not all are so excited about the school year. Brittany Munoz is a rising high school freshman.

"It gets me nervous because I'm starting at a new school," Munoz said.

Before school begins Aug. 21, CPS is hosting 13 back-to-school bashes across the city.

The next one is in Washington Park on Monday.

To see the full list, visit www.cps.edu/sites/back-to-school.