BOSTON — About 1,500 Boston public school students will have one less worry heading back to school: whether they’ll have supplies for class and a bag for their books.

Both will be given away, courtesy of the Boston Public Health Commission and its Connecting Families to Schools program, at the 4th annual Book Bag Drive and Health Fair Wednesday, Aug. 20. The event will run from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Shelburne Community Center, 2730 Washington Street, in Roxbury.

«We are very happy to support this event and to get those backpacks filled with useful supplies out to families in Boston that need them,» said Mayor Thomas M. Menino, who is scheduled to attend the event. «We truly believe that academic success ultimately leads to positive outcomes for children.»

Dr, Barbara Ferrer, executive director of the Boston Public Health Commission, said the book bag giveaway «exemplifies the community’s hunger to promote academic success and ensure that its children have the tools they need to learn.»

Mayor Menino and Dr. Ferrer will be joined at the event by scores of volunteers from local businesses and city agencies who will staff information tables, provide free health screenings and entertainment such as face painting and a Hula-Hoop contest.

Students are required to be accompanied by a parent or caretaker and show proof of school enrollment to receive a backpack filled with an assortment of school supplies, including notebooks, pens, pencils, sharpeners, and rulers.

The donations were made possible by contributions from Cradles to Crayons, a nonprofit that supports children; the pharmacy Eaton Apothecary; the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Women Infants and Children program; Neighborhood Health Plan, a nonprofit health maintenance organization; Service Employees International Union Local 888; and Boston Rocks.


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