The School District of Philadelphia says it's given away close to 10,000 backpacks through its bus tour.
PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Students across Philadelphia received back-to-school supplies Saturday as both the school district and community organizations held giveaways.
The School District of Philadelphia says it's given away close to 10,000 backpacks through its bus tour. The last stop was at School of the Future in Fairmount Park Saturday.
"I got ice cream, a bookbag, books, a pretzel," said Zahra Potter, who's going into second grade.
Potter and her siblings all picked out different colored backpacks at the event.
"Any way that we could come out and support our families, reduce a little bit of the pressure and take some of that load off, we wanted to," said Adam Northam, the director of internal communications for the district.
At the event, families could also find resources, and schedule immunizations, including the COVID-19 vaccine. Families also had some fun with games, food, and face paint.
"I think that is a great idea because our kids want something new coming into school, you know? They don't want last year's stuff," said Sabrina Bertha, a grandma in Parkside.
The event is also saving money for families in the face of inflation.
That's why the community at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church in East Mount Airy held its own back-to-school drive.
"It has been said it takes a village to raise a child, but it takes a church to raise a village," said Pastor Alyn Waller.
He says the church bought the backpacks and the congregation filled them with supplies.
"We know that we need to send a student to school who is spiritually prepared, who is resourced, and who is emotionally ready for the education process," he said.
Families also gathered at Scanlon Rec Center in Kensington Saturday for a similar event. Kids were able to grab one of 700 free backpacks and fill them with supplies too.
Kids at events across the city said they're excited about school.
"You get to see everybody, and it makes everyone feel happy," said 5th grader Khalid Esmael.
As the School District of Philadelphia outfitted kids, recruiters also worked to fill classrooms.
The district still has about 200 open teacher jobs with a little over a week before the start of the year.