San Francisco – More than 3,000 Bayview schoolchildren will receive free backpacks, school uniforms, educational supplies and access to free resources at the annual Bayview Hunters Point Back to School Celebration on Saturday, Aug. 18.
The event, the largest of its kind, will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Bayview Opera House Ruth Williams Memorial Theatre, 4705 Third St., and the Joseph Lee Recreation Center, 1395 Mendell St. The celebration will feature music and interactive games and serves students from kindergarten to 12th grade and their families. The day will also include a giveaway of white polo-style shirts by the Tzu Chi Foundation for children in elementary and middle school.
The celebration, in its ninth year, is put on by the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office and Bayview MAGIC (BMAGIC). This year, BMAGIC was awarded a $39,192 grant from the Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation to fund the event.
“The grant from Lowe’s allows us to provide many more students with the tools they need to succeed,” said San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi.
Activities at the event will focus on healthy living and the arts. A climbing wall, sports complex and bounce house will be on site, and families can take part in a community-building art project with Painters Beautifying Kommunities. The day will also showcase youth talent.
BMAGIC Executive Director Lyslynn Lacoste stressed the importance of meeting children’s educational needs in a tough economy. “Many families in San Francisco are struggling financially. Our goal is to provide our kids with the right tools to excel academically, regardless of income,” Lacoste said.
With more than 50 organizations and city agencies on hand to welcome children back to school, the celebration will highlight the many services and resources in the Bayview Hunters Point area.
The MAGIC program, initiated by the Public Defender’s Office in 2004, convenes more than 100 community organizations and concerned citizens who work to reduce the number of kids who fall through social service gaps by efficiently coordinating opportunities, support and resources. MAGIC started in Bayview as BMAGIC, and was introduced to the Western Addition as Mo’ MAGIC in 2006.
Mo’ MAGIC BBQ and Backpack Giveaway to be held Aug. 11
Improving the education, health and futures for more than 2,000 San Francisco families in the Fillmore and Western Addition will be the focus of the Mo’ MAGIC BBQ and Backpack Giveaway on Saturday, Aug. 11.
The annual back-to-school event will be held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ella Hutch Community Center, 1050 McAllister St. More than 1,200 backpacks full of school supplies will be distributed to kids from kindergarten to 12th grade. An onsite health fair coordinated by AfroSolo will provide screenings and resources, parent workshops will offer expert advice and families will enjoy a free community barbecue.
“We began this back-to-school event to provide kids in the Western Addition with the tools essential for school success,” said San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi. “Today, we address not only academics, but health, parenting and community wellness as well.”
The celebration is put on by Mo’ MAGIC, a program initiated by the Public Defender’s Office in 2006. Mo’ MAGIC and its sister organization, Bayview MAGIC, each convene more than 100 community organizations and concerned citizens who work to reduce the number of kids who fall through social service gaps by efficiently coordinating opportunities, support and resources.
This year, Mo’ MAGIC has teamed up with Unite For Students, an all-volunteer group of graduate students based at the University of San Francisco’s Leo T. McCarthy Center for Public Service and the Common Good. Starting at 10 a.m., Unite For Students will hold eight half-hour workshops for parents and teachers at the event featuring experts and local community leaders, that will focus on breaking the “school-to-prison pipeline.”
“The school-to-prison pipeline describes the pattern of events that push a student out of the classroom and into the juvenile justice system, and eventually to incarceration as an adult,” said Mo’ MAGIC Director Sheryl Davis.
Workshop topics include restorative justice as an alternative to zero-tolerance discipline, courses for college admission, early college and financial aid counseling, policy change, truancy prevention and parental involvement.
The majority of backpacks for the event were donated by Convent & Stuart Hall.
“Mo’ MAGIC is grateful for the opportunity to partner with organizations like AfroSolo, Kaiser Permanente, St. Mary’s and Convent & Stuart Hall to offer fundamental resources that help support positive youth development,” Davis said. “On a national level the Children’s Defense Fund has long drawn attention to the need for access to health care and quality education to break the cradle to prison pipeline. I am happy that as a community we are working together to address the issue locally.”