More than 2000 of New York City's most challenged students will start the new school year prepared for success. The Brooklyn NAACP and partners will distribute free backpacks, containing essential school supplies, at a press conference and rally to kick-off the new school year at 11 AM on Wednesday, August 22 at the Brooklyn Borough Hall. The students will also meet superhero WordGirl of the Emmy Award-winning animated adventure series that is aired on the PBS program KIDS GO. The Back-to-School/Stay-in-School event is being organized by the Brooklyn NAACP, the Office of the Brooklyn Borough President, and the New York City Department of Education. Among community leaders and public officials who will be present are Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, New York City Schools Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott, and Brooklyn-NAACP President Karen Boykin-Towns. Jon Rubin, director of state and local educational services at WNET, New York's flagship public media organization, will also be present.
The Back-to-School/Stay-in-School event is a 28-year tradition of the NAACP, which has been promoting civil rights and advocating equal educational opportunities for all for more than 103 years. The program targets at-risk students, some of whom live in shelters and are from homes with incomes below the poverty level. It provides critical supports, such as mentoring and facilitating greater parental involvement to help motivate students and spur academic excellence. Karen Boykin-Towns, president of the Brooklyn NAACP, explained that the annual Back-to-School/Stay-in-School event mirrors the commitment of the Brooklyn NAACP to work with students, parents, educators and policymakers to create the environment where all students can thrive academically, and be well prepared to compete in the global marketplace. "During these tough economic times it's more important than ever to support families in preparing students for school," she said. "We are pleased to have provided 11,500 backpacks to students over the past six years, and look forward to continuing our partnership with MS 334, New York City Crossroads Juvenile Detention Center, and others who share our vision, in this critical mission." "The new school year begins in a few weeks, and I want all our students to have the opportunity to excel in school and be prepared for college and a career, " Chancellor Dennis M. Walcott said. "One way is to provide our students with essential school supplies at no cost to their families, and I want to thank the Brooklyn NAACP and Borough President Marty Markowitz for helping to provide these resources. " Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz expressed his commitment to the Back-to-School/Stay-in-School Program. "Brooklyn Borough Hall is thrilled to join the Brooklyn NAACP and Schools Chancellor Walcott to help ring in a new school year for hundreds of students who represent our borough's bright future," he said. "In just six years we have seen this initiative grow more than four-fold in the number of backpacks and school supplies distributed, which are essential tools to help level the educational playing field, and for our students to reach the zenith of their potential." Jon Rubin of WNET explained the importance of supporting the Brooklyn NAACP and the Back-to-School/Stay-in-School Program. "WNET is pleased to be part of this event along with such dedicated community partners," he said. "Our work as part of our ongoing American Graduate initiative is all about providing the content and resources to help kids better engage with learning in schools, so this project is a natural fit for us." Sponsors of the Back-to-School/Stay-in-School event include Walgreens, Citibank, WNET, Friends of Thirteen, Inc., Black Jewels Ladies' Golf Association (Brooklyn Chapter), Brooklyn Public Library, G & B Foundation, Mary E. Richmond, National Grid, and NIA Community Services Network. To get information about how you can support the Brooklyn NAACP, please go to www.brooklynnaacp.org. PR Newswire (http://s.tt/1l4SC)
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