Beep partners with businesses to host back-to-school backpack giveaway

Parents receive free backpacks outside Brooklyn Borough Hall as part of the BP and Spectrum’s big back-to-school bash on Sept. 8.
Photo by Caroline Ourso

Going back to school in style!

As kiddos geared up for a new school year, Brooklyn Borough Hall partnered with some major businesses to host a big back-to-school bash in Downtown Brooklyn.

Brooklyn Borough President and Democratic mayoral nominee Eric Adams joined Spectrum and Kings Plaza to co-host the first “Welcome Back Brooklyn Summer Wednesday Back to School Event” on Wednesday, Sept. 8 — one week later than originally scheduled due to Hurricane Ida. The afternoon affair concluded the borough president’s weekly “Summer Wednesday” extravaganzas.

The Wednesday afternoon giveaway was made possible by generous donations from the Diana Bagrationi Foundation and Target, which also donated school supplies to fill the bags. At the end of the day, more than 400 bags were distributed to local students, who also received school supplies, including crayons, pens, spiral notebooks, glue sticks, folders, pencil sharpeners, colored pencils, and more.

Passersby enjoy live musical performances by the Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy at the kick-off event Sept. 8.Photo by Caroline Ourso

Brooklynites gathered at Borough Hall Plaza at noon and enjoyed live music and free backpacks given by Spectrum. Vice President Rodney Chapel and Group Vice President Camille Joseph-Goldman from the State of Government Affairs were also present at the event, as well as various Spectrum and Borough Hall representatives.

“This year’s back-to-school distributions signal a welcome return for New York City students, who have been forced to endure so much during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Adams said in a statement. “These events will help set students up for success in the coming school year as they return to in-person classes.”

“We are proud to partner with Spectrum, Kings Plaza, the Diana Bagrationi Foundation, and Target on this year’s backpack distribution, and look forward to continuing to support our students amid such an unprecedented school-year,” he added.

A young girl strikes a pose with her new backpack.Photo by Caroline Ourso

The event also featured a mobile vaccination van, offering free shots of the Pfizer vaccine to New Yorkers aged 12 and up, hosted in partnership with the NYC Test & Trace Corps.

The beep’s “Summer Wednesday” program featured cooking demos, health fairs, live music, and more.

At the back-to-school bash, young artist-activists from Ifetayo performed dance, poetry, and spoken word.

“We [were] so excited to join the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office to help welcome NYC students back to school,” said Ifetayo Cultural Arts Academy Executive Director Naima Oyo. “At Ifetayo we start with the question, ‘How are the children?’ These celebratory events will help to ensure that our young people are kicking off the year surrounded by love and joy.”

Performers hit the pavement.Photo by Caroline Ourso