Monday, August 12, 2013 · by Larry
San Francisco, CA — More than 3,000 San Francisco children and their families will gather in the recently restored Youngblood Coleman Park in the Bayview this Saturday, Aug. 17 to receive backpacks stuffed with school supplies, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi announced today.
BMAGIC (Bayview Hunters Point Mobilization for Adolescent Growth in our Communities) Annual Back to School Backpack Giveaway will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the park, which is located at 1398 Hudson St. 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. This year’s theme is “Healthy Mind + Healthy Body = School Success.”
BMAGIC, initiated by the Public Defender’s Office in 2004, works to reduce the number of kids who fall through social service gaps by efficiently coordinating opportunities, support and resources. This is the first year the annual backpack giveaway, which started in 2004, has been held in Youngblood-Coleman Park.
“Youngblood-Coleman is the Bayview’s hidden gem,” Adachi said. “Over the past year, BMAGIC has worked alongside the city parks department and local residents to restore this neglected and underused park to its former glory. Saturday’s back to school event is truly a celebration of families returning to this community treasure.”
Youngblood-Coleman Park features sweeping views of the Bay, sports fields, a playground and picnic area and newly restored tennis and basketball courts.
The event, which is in its ninth 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 activist, and organizers, including San Francisco School Superintendent Richard Carranza and 49ers alumni Guy McIntyre and Dennis Brown.
“BMAGIC’s Annual Back to School Backpack Giveaway does much more than equip children with the tools for academic success,” said BMAGIC Director Lyslynn Lacoste. “The event also promotes critical services, civic participation and unity in Bayview-Hunters Point.”
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, Bayview Merchants Association, Bayview Opera House, San Francisco Recreation and Parks, Recology, Rainbow Grocery, Fresh & Easy and SF Wholesale Produce Market.