5,000 kids to receive free backpacks filled with school supplies at San Francisco’s largest back-to-school celebration
“In light of the economic downturn and severe state budget cuts to education, this event has never been so important,” Public Defender and MAGIC founder Jeff Adachi said. “This year, there are more kids in need and more parents who cannot afford to provide the most essential tools required for their kids to succeed in school. Every little bit counts.”
The MAGIC Back-to-School Celebration and Backpack Giveaway, now in its sixth year, also doubles as a resource and activity fair with free food, games, arts and crafts, music, sports and performances.
In preparation for Saturday’s event, over 100 adults and youth volunteered three afternoons this week to stuff the 5,000 backpacks with pencils, notebooks, rulers, folders, crayons and other age appropriate supplies.
The MAGIC program, initiated by the Public Defender’s Office in 2004, convenes over 100 community organizations and concerned citizens who work to reduce the number of kids who fall through social service gaps by efficiently coordinating education, job training, social development and health programs. MAGIC started in Bayview as BMAGIC and was introduced to the Fillmore as Mo’ MAGIC in 2006 at the request of Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi.
Each year, over 600 youth and their families receive books and computer training at BMAGIC’s Annual Children’s Book & Technology Fair. Over 200 youth participate in Mo’ MAGIC’s yearly Summer Reading program, which provides books and daily reading classes in the Fillmore – or Western Addition.
This year’s event was made possible by generous donations from the 49ers Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, Kaiser, AfroSolo, St. Mary’s Hospital, Convent & Stuart Hall, Tides Foundation, California Pacific Medical Center, San Francisco Department of Children Youth and Families, San Francisco Bay View newspaper and Rainbow Grocery, among others.
”We are proud to be a part of the MAGIC Back-to-School Celebration and Backpack Giveaway to help give youth in the Bayview an even greater chance to be successful in the classroom,” 49ers Owner Dr. John York said. “The program is directly in line with our 49ers Foundation mission to keep youth safe, on track and in school.”
MAGIC will also distribute backpacks to needy kids and youth in the Tenderloin, Sunset and Mission neighborhoods.