Wednesday, August 1, 2012 · by Tamara Aparton
San Francisco, CA — 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.
Speakers at the event include San Francisco Unified School District Superintendent Carlos Garcia and Board of Education Commissioners Sandra Fewer and Emily Murase.
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.”