Monday, August 4, 2014 · by Tamara Aparton
San Francisco, CA — In an effort to ensure every student starts school with the tools to succeed, the San Francisco Public Defender’s MAGIC programs will distribute backpacks stuffed with school supplies to a combined 5,000 kindergartners through 12th graders during August events in the Western Addition and Bayview.
The two back-to-school events, held Saturday, Aug. 9 and Saturday, Aug. 16, are among the largest and most comprehensive of their kind in the Bay Area, said San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi.
“Providing resources to youth in underserved neighborhoods is more important than ever. Many longtime San Francisco families are struggling to stay in the city and raise their children during a time of tremendous income inequality,” Adachi said. “By providing these basic tools for academic success, we hope we can alleviate a bit of the burden on parents.”
The annual events are held by MAGIC (Mobilization for Adolescent Growth in our Communities,) an organization initiated by the Public Defender’s Office in 2004. MAGIC reduces the number of kids who enter the juvenile justice system or fall through social service gaps by efficiently coordinating opportunities, support and resources. While Mo’ Magic centers its efforts in the Fillmore/Western Addition neighborhoods, its sister organization, BMAGIC, focuses on Bayview-Hunters Point.
Saturday, Aug. 9
Western Addition Health Fair and Backpack Giveaway.
10 am. -1 p.m.
Ella Hill Hutch Community Center – 1050 McAllister St.
In addition to the backpack and school supplies giveaway, this event will also feature free health screenings and information, coordinated by AfroSolo. All attendees participate in at least five stations of the Health Fair before the children can choose a backpack.
Saturday, Aug. 16
BVHP Annual Back to School Celebration
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Youngblood Coleman Park, 1398 Hudson Ave.
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.
Nearly 100 community-based organizations working in the areas of health, environment, juvenile and social justice, faith-based and after-school programming will be represented at the events, along with elected officials, city agencies, local merchants, funders, grass roots activist, and organizers. Healthy food, sports, games and live entertainment will be provided.
“These events are more than backpack giveaways,” said BMAGIC Executive Director Lyslynne Lacoste. “It is an opportunity for families to connect with services in their community as well as each other. It’s about building a positive and safe community for our children and youth.”
Mo’ MAGIC Executive Director Sheryl Davis said the ongoing goal of Mo’ Magic is to empower the residents of the Western Addition.
“Part of this empowerment focus is to make sure the children of the Western Addition return to school prepared for success,” she said. “The annual event provides our K-12 students with the tools they need for the incoming school year as well as giving their parents one less budget concern. The health fair and block party is an added plus for everyone.”
BMAGIC event sponsors include the San Francisco 49ers Foundation, Golden State Warriors, Union Bank, San Francisco Federal Credit Union, Bayview Hunters Point YMCA, Willie Mays Boys and Girls Clubs, Bayview Merchants Association, Bay Area Deputy Sheriffs’ Charitable Foundation, San Francisco Wholesale Produce Market, Sutter Health/California Pacific Medical Center, Comcast, Recology, Rainbow Grocery Cooperative, Bayview Opera House and San Francisco Recreation and Parks.
Mo’ MAGIC event’s main sponsors include and Convent & Stuart Hall, Facebook, Korean Full Gospel Church, Golden State Warriors, Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services, San Francisco Toyota and SFPD.