BMAGIC to distribute backpacks, uniforms to Bayview kids

by Tamara Barak Aparton

San Francisco – In an effort to ensure every student starts school with the tools to succeed, the San Francisco Public Defender’s BMAGIC program will provide backpacks stuffed with school supplies to more than 3,000 youth in the Bayview on Saturday, Aug. 16.

Just as they were last year, the children of Bayview Hunters Point will be celebrating the BMAGIC Backpack Giveaway again this year on Aug. 16.
Just as they were last year, the children of Bayview Hunters Point will be celebrating the BMAGIC Backpack Giveaway again this year on Aug. 16.

The BVHP Annual Back to School Celebration will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the recently renovated Youngblood Coleman Park, 1398 Hudson Ave. Children and parents must attend together to receive a free backpack and school supplies. School uniforms, provided by the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, will also be provided. The event serves students from kindergarten through 12th grade and their families.

BMAGIC (Bayview Hunters Point Mobilization for Adolescent Growth in our Communities) was initiated by the Public Defender’s Office in 2004. Along with Mo’ Magic, its sister organization in the Fillmore, BMAGIC works to reduce the number of kids who enter the juvenile justice system or fall through social service gaps by efficiently coordinating opportunities, support and resources.

Providing resources to families in underserved neighborhoods is more important than ever, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi said.

“Many longtime San Francisco families in Bayview Hunters Point are struggling to stay in the city and raise their children during a time of tremendous income inequality,” Adachi said. “By providing these basic tools for academic success, we hope we can alleviate a bit of the burden on parents.”

The event, which is in its 11th year, will feature a rock climbing wall, sports and games, and live entertainment. Nearly 50 community-based organizations working in the areas of health, environment, juvenile and social justice, faith-based and after-school programming will be represented, along with elected officials, city agencies, local merchants, funders, grass roots activists and organizers.

In an effort to ensure every student starts school with the tools to succeed, the San Francisco Public Defender’s BMAGIC program will provide backpacks stuffed with school supplies to more than 3,000 youth in the Bayview on Saturday, Aug. 16.

“This event is more than a backpack giveaway,” said BMAGIC Executive Director Lyslynne Lacoste. “It is an opportunity for families to connect with services in their community as well as each other. It’s about building a positive and safe community for our children and youth.”

Fresh, seasonal, organic fruit will be available, and families will be able to access free health, wellness and financial services at the event. Sponsors include the San Francisco 49ers Foundation, Union Bank, Golden State Warriors, San Francisco Federal Credit Union, Bayview Hunters Point YMCA, Willie Mays Boys and Girls Clubs, Bayview Merchants Association, Bay Area Deputy Sheriffs’ Charitable Foundation, San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market, Sutter Health-California Pacific Medical Center, Comcast, Recology, Rainbow Grocery Cooperative, Bayview Opera House and San Francisco Recreation and Parks.

Tamara Barak Aparton is communication and policy assistant in the San Francisco Public Defender’s Office. She can be reached at tamara.aparton@sfgov.org.