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Over 3000 Members of Hartford Community Celebrate 5th Annual CREC Back to School Block Party
Hundreds of families from Hartford and surrounding towns attended the Fifth Annual CREC Back to School Block Party on Wednesday, August 14, a free community event hosted by the Capitol Region Education Council (CREC) and CREC Foundation, to celebrate the upcoming school year and prepare students for class with a backpack and school supplies giveaway. This year the lead sponsor was Owens Realty, who provided the largest financial contribution to the event. To commemorate the fifth anniversary, CREC closed a portion of Charter Oak Avenue to make extra space for the event.
“I’ve always said it’s my favorite event of the year. It’s so important to give back to the region and to make sure kids are ready to go back to school and feel ready to go back to school,” said CREC Executive Director Greg Florio.
Hartford Fire and Police departments, Our Piece of the Pie, The Governor’s Prevention Partnership, Access Health CT, Southside Institutions Neighborhood Alliance, and Girl Scouts of CT were among more than 30 local organizations that offered information and resources to parents throughout the event. The block party kicked off at 3 p.m. with free balloons, snacks, and activities that included a “Hope Line” where children wrote their hope for the school year. Over 75 free haircuts provided by Puerto Pelo by Mary and Connecti-Cuts, a fitness workout led by Sudor Taino, raffles, field games, origami tutorials, a puppet show, and ice cream provided by Ice Cream for a Dream were among the event’s attractions. The Back-to-School Block Party’s main event was the giveaway, with 1,200 backpacks filled with school supplies given to children from the Hartford area. Hot 93.7 broadcasted live from the Block Party.
“No matter what school a child attends, we are committed to helping them start the school year in a positive way,” said Superintendent of CREC Schools Tim Sullivan. “It’s our number one goal.”
El Bori and Rolling Dish food trucks were stationed on the closed street offering affordable, $5 prix fixe menus to the attendees.
In addition to Owens, contributions from sponsors, including Aetna, Voya Financial, the Ryan T. Lee Foundation, Global Atlantic Financial, Air Temp, Downes Construction, Friar Architecture, and from CREC employees, were used to purchase the backpacks and school supplies. Members of the community also dropped off donations of school supplies at the CREC “Fill-A-Van” event at the Rocky Hill Walmart on July 25 and 26. The event was free and open to anyone from the Greater Hartford area.