Tuesday, August 6, 2013 · by Tamara Aparton
San Francisco, CA — Backpacks stuffed with school supplies will be handed out to more than 1, 200 kids in need during the Western Addition Health Fair and Backpack Giveaway on Saturday, Aug. 10, San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi announced today.
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. An onsite health fair coordinated by AfroSolo will provide screenings and resources to students in kindergarten through 12th grade and their families.
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.
“Our goal is to ensure every child in San Francisco starts the school year equipped with the tools for success,” said San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi. “Those tools go beyond backpacks and pencils. Research has shown that healthy habits and good nutrition are crucial to child development and learning.”
Local artists, clergy, healthcare workers, legislators and community members will volunteer at the event, which offers free screenings and information on asthma, cholesterol, dental health, breast cancer, diabetes, HIV and many more concerns.
Mo’ MAGIC Director Sheryl Davis said her organization provides extensive educational programming to combat the “summer slump” among San Francisco kids. Studies have shown that low-income children are disproportionately affected by summer learning loss.
“The health fair and backpack giveaway is the culmination to a summer of learning,” Davis said. “Our hope is that entire families will become motivated and find the resources to help them make positive health behavior changes.”
Entertainment at the event will include performances by Destiny Muhammad, Harpist from the Hood and Michael Ross, portrait painter.
Besides Mo’MAGIC and AfroSolo, the event is made possible by Supervisor London Breed, The African American Art and Culture Complex, St. Mary’s Medical Center, California Pacific Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, Comcast, Korean Full Gospel Church, State Bird Provisions and individual donors. Backpacks are donated by Convent & Stuart Hall.