New school year, new backpack giveaway in Oakland

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Thousands of Oakland kids received a treat Monday as they headed back to school.

A coalition of nonprofits and businesses donated 6,000 backpacks full of school supplies.

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The kickoff was held at Hoover Elementary School, where all 300 kids received a black backpack full of supplies like white boards, art supplies and binders.

Meanwhile, Mayor Libby Schaaf was on hand at Westlake Middle School later in the morning after dropping her own kids off for their first day of school.

She joined Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell for a tour of the school, which is on Harrison Street near the Uptown neighborhood.

"It's a way to show our teachers how much we appreciate them and to show our students how seriously we take education in this city," said Mayor Schaaf.

"It's a day of excitement for the students. All of the educators have been working tirelessly to get ready for today so we are just here to see how all of our schools are doing. We will spend the entire day from 8 till 3 visiting as many schools as we can. I am having wonderful conversations with the principals and the teachers just to see how things are," Johnson-Trammell said.

The mayor was happy about all the new backpacks handed out Monday.

"Every year, Oakland shows up so generously with Supplybank.org. We're giving away thousands of backpacks today to students who really want to have that shiny new backpack all those great new school supplies but maybe couldn't manage that with their family circumstances," the mayor said.

The nonprofits involved in the backpack giveaway are SupplyBank.org and the Lend a Hand Foundation. They teamed up with Kaiser Permanente and city officials.

Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell says the backpacks and supplies will go a long way toward helping children succeed in the classroom.
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