SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Springfield Public Schools and Sodexo welcomed back students with a back-to-school celebration in Blunt Park on Saturday.

The event included free backpacks, lunch, games, and entertainment. The celebration was free and open to Springfield Public Schools students as well as their families. 

22News spoke with Jose Escribano, Chief of Family & Community Engagement at Springfield Public Schools, about the excitement building among the students.

“It’s a time for families to get together and meet their schools and interact with the families,” said Escribano. “Every year we get an overwhelming response from families….. so it’s an event that families look forward to so it’s important that we have this where they can connect with the schools.”

One Springfield family said they look forward to the annual event which provides great help ahead of the new school year.

“We are really excited! We actually came here last year and we knew about this event and we were like ‘let’s go it’s a really big help for us,'” said Amneris Cosme. She noted “… you can go get information from your school which is pretty awesome.”

Every school was given its own table and representatives from every school were in attendance, according to Springfield Public Schools. Several thousand backpacks were distributed to the first students to arrive with an adult along with some books.

Mayor Domenic Sarno was also in attendance Saturday. He stated, “With the new school year quickly coming up this special Back to School Celebration event put on by our Springfield Public Schools at Blunt Park will give our students and families a chance to meet with the staff from their schools, as well as provide them with free backpacks, lunch and entertainment.”

The first day of school for Springfield students in grades 1-12 is Monday. Kindergarten starts on Tuesday, September 5 and Pre-K starts on Wednesday, September 6.

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