CHICAGO (WLS) — There's carnival fun Friday as Chicago Public Schools help students get ready for next year.
With exactly one month left before school starts, Chicago Public Schools kicks off a series of back-to-school parties in Davis Square Park in the Back of the Yards neighborhood.
“We decided to do it in the park first because we really wanted to engage the community,” said CPS CEO Pedro Martinez.
And community definitely emerges. Hundreds of families come out to enjoy everything from bouncy houses and basketballs to bubbles and hula hoops
“We love them. The kids are out; they get to see their friends here, and they have activities for them to do,” said CPS parent Maria Diaz.
Diaz is the mother of eight children, all of whom are products of CPS.
“So you have to make sure they have a good education and they have my support in everything they do,” Diaz said.
Martinez is on hand to provide support. He will start a new school year working with the new mayor and school board.
Educating thousands of migrant students will be on his list of challenges.
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“Even though there are challenges as we try to serve these families, for us. Our staff is concerned about the families themselves, making sure they have access to shelter and food,” said Martinez.
Martinez says the aim of the party is to get kids excited about the new school year and offer parents resources.
“You can go into each tent and find something you might be looking for and leave a happy camper,” says CPS parent Naeem Johnson.
Johnson brought his 5 year old son, Nasir. He is excited to start kindergarten after an exciting year in the CPS pre-K program.
“There are fun things to do; they have toys, blocks and more,” said Nasir.
But not everyone is so excited about the school year. Brittany Munoz is a rising high school student.
“It made me nervous because I was starting at a new school,” says Munoz.
Before school starts on August 21, CPS is holding 13 back-to-school parties across the city.
The next one is in Washington Park on Monday.