With the beginning of the school year just around the corner, elected officials and other organizations gave away supplies and books to local Bronx families last week.
On Aug. 19, the Office of the Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., in conjunction with AT&T, The Fresh Air Fund, and the New York Public Library, hosted a pop-up “Back to School Literacy” event.
Deputy Borough President Marricka Scott-McFadden, who was joined by Councilwoman Vanessa Gibson, helped give away over 1,000 kits and books at The Fresh Air Fund Summer Spaces Program site, located at 1155 Cromwell Ave. in Highbridge.
The Fresh Air Fund’s “Fresh Air Summer Spaces” program was created in response to COVID-19, offering fun, free, and safe play spaces for children ages 5 through 13. Fresh Air Summer Spaces allowed children the chance to enjoy safe, supervised outdoor summer activities such as arts and crafts, interactive games, and dance parties.
“The global COVID-19 pandemic has created hardships for many throughout our borough and this is just one of many ways that we are easing the burdens parents face as our children get set to return to school,” Diaz said. “I want to thank AT&T, the New York Public Library and The Fresh Air Fund for helping ensure that parents, particularly those hit hard economically by the pandemic, are not overwhelmed by the need to buy supplies for their children as they get set for a new school year. It is important that we make sure we all do our part that students receive everything they need to further improve their scholastic skill-sets and reach their fullest academic potential.”
Fatima Shama, executive director of The Fresh Air Fund, praised Diaz and the other pols for giving back.
“We are deeply grateful to Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. for his ongoing dedication and support of The Fresh Air Fund and children in the Bronx,” Shama said. “We offer him our special thanks for spearheading the distribution of much-needed school supplies and books to enrich the lives of children. This summer more than ever before, New York City children deserve to make memories, try new things, see new places, and make new friends. Through Fresh Air Summer Spaces in the Bronx, young people are experiencing the joy and freedom of safe and supervised outdoor play right in their own neighborhoods.”
See photos from the event below.
This article first appeared on BXTimes.com