Events across Philadelphia prepare kids to go back to school

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Events across Philadelphia prepare kids to go back to school. Bob Brooks eports during Action News at 6pm on August 25, 2018.

There were events across Philadelphia on Saturday aimed at helping kids get ready to go back to school.

At the Miles Mack Center in Mantua, kids were having fun with a bounce house, water ice and face painting.

But at the same time, there was important work being done.

After all, this was the Back to School Backpack Giveaway hosted by Drexel University's Action for Early Learning Initiative.

"We want to make sure our West Philly children are starting kindergarten ready," said the initiative's director, Maria Walker.

They had backpacks to give away, but also educational booths set up to get families started on early childhood education.

"Kids who start kindergarten ready, obviously, they aren't behind and research shows that kids who start kindergarten ready have a better long-term success," said Walker.

Also on hand was Philadelphia School Superintendent Dr. William Hite.

"It's critically important that we have programs as a school district and as a city and community so our young people are engaged," he said.

In North Philly, the non-profit Attract Philadelphia held their own backpack giveaway at the Penrose Center.

Attract CEO Tierra Jones says they give kids an outlet to talk about violence.

"We have different discussions around movies, neighborhood community meetings. Our kids were afraid to speak up at one point," said Jones.

But Jones says they were leading by example by creating safety and bringing their community together.

The common cause of course, was getting ready for school. There were book bags and free haircuts that looked sharp!

There was face painting too.

"It's a nice sunny day great day to get a free book bag," said Jainee Stokes.

Students in Philadelphia go back to school on Monday.

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