School District of Philadelphia hosts celebration to help kids, parents prepare for return to class

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District preps kids, parents for back to school. John Rawlins reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on August 16, 2018.

Kids along with parents and grandparents from across the city took over the front yard of Philadelphia's School of the Future Thursday.

It was all a part of a day-long event hosted by the School District of Philadelphia to help kids and their guardians get ready for the upcoming academic year.

The idea is to have fun but also connect to critical services, such as dental and medical programs.

"We are helping kids in SD get dental service at no cost to the family," said Dr. John Halcovich of the Oral Health Impact Project.

Volunteer barbers and hair stylists also out in force offering their skills.

"It gives kids a chance to be fresh on their way back to school," said Stylist Michael Murrille.

Some 8,000 backpacks were expected to be given away. One soon-to-be 3rd grader showed us what was inside his.

"Two notebooks," he said while digging through the pile of goods.

This year in the district classes will start a full week before Labor Day.

"We are starting earlier. Monday, August 27," said School District of Philadelphia Spokesperson Lee Whack. "We have a big campaign we want everyone to get involved, it's called 'Ring the Bell PHL' so we are very excited about it."

An earlier start means an earlier ending: the last day of school in the district will be June 4.

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