Thursday, August 4, 2016 · by Tamara Aparton
San Francisco, CA — As families feel the squeeze of San Francisco’s exorbitant cost of living, the San Francisco Public Defender’s MAGIC programs will distribute backpacks stuffed with school supplies to more than 3,500 children and youth during two August events.
Saturday, Aug. 6
Western Addition Health Fair and Backpack Giveaway.
10 am. -2 p.m.
Ella Hill Hutch Community Center – 1050 McAllister St.
More than 1,500 backpacks and school supply kits will be handed out to students from pre-K to college. Health care providers will offer vision and hearing screenings, glucose testing, and dental checkups; community based organizations will be available for families in need of resources and information. More than 80 community volunteers are expected to support the event. Citizen Film’s Buchanan Mall Change, a new series of short documentaries produced by and for Western Addition community members, will also be screened.
Saturday, Aug. 13
BVHP Annual Back to School Celebration and Backpack Giveaway
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
NOW Hunters Point – 155 Jennings St.
Approximately 2,000 elementary, middle school, and high school students will receive school uniforms and backpacks stuffed with school supplies at the event’s new location. NOW Hunters Point, a project supported by Pacific Gas and Electric, activates a portion of the former Hunters Point power plant site with short-term events and community serving programs as part of an innovative site maintenance and long-term visioning strategy.
The site will be transformed into a large board game, where attendees must travel along “a pathway to school success” to earn their backpack and uniform after learning about the top-notch resources provided. Salvation Army will provide shuttle services at pre-determined stops.
NOW Hunters Point, a transformative community site owned by PG&E. The site will be transformed into a large board game, where attendees must travel along “a pathway to school success” to earn their backpack and uniform after learning about the top-notch resources provided. Salvation Army will provide shuttle services at pre-determined stops.
The two back-to-school events are among the largest and most comprehensive of their kind in the Bay Area, said San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi.
“We want to ensure every child starting the school year in San Francisco has the foundation to build academic success,” Adachi said. “The MAGIC back to school events have been critical not only in providing families with back-to-school supplies, but also connecting them with health, housing, and legal resources,”
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 youth 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.
More than 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.
“Every year, we see families line up well before our doors open to ensure their children are able to select a backpack, and we anticipate that demand will outpace supply again,” said Sheryl Davis, executive director of Mo’MAGIC. “We look forward to working to provide our families with the support they need for a successful school year.”
The events also provide a chance for connection and support among neighbors, said BMAGIC Executive Director Lyslynn Lacoste.
“Each year, BMAGIC and the residents of Bayview eagerly anticipate this community building event. We all strive to ensure that our students and their families are prepared for the new school year and given the tools to succeed,” Lacoste said.
Mo’ MAGIC event’s fiscal sponsors include Kaiser Permanente; the Office of Public Defender Jeff Adachi; the Department of Children, Youth & Their Families; Schools of the Sacred Heart; Dignity Health-St. Mary’s Memorial Hospital; and the Bi-Rite Family of Businesses. Event partners include University of San Francisco; Sutter Health-CPMC; and the Bay Area Black Nurses Association.
BMAGIC sponsors include the San Francisco 49ers Foundation; Golden State Warriors; Comcast; San Francisco Credit Union; and Union Bank Foundation. In-kind services provided by Rainbow Grocery Cooperative; Recology; and San Francisco Wholesale Produce. Uniforms donated by the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation.