Pittsburgh Public Schools (PPS) hosted their fourth annual Back-to-School celebration on August 22nd. The event was held at Lincoln Elementary School. School supplies and book bags were handed out and the kids could also get a haircut or get their nails done. There was food including nachos, popcorn, and cotton candy along with activities such as a playground and games with prizes.
There were booths lined-up to introduce the kids to organizations such as Strong Women Strong Girls, The Boys and Girls Club, and Carnegie Mellon University.
The event was started to make sure the kids were supplied with what they needed for school and make them feel confident by getting a haircut or getting their nails done. The event also helps the kids feel excited about school starting.
The new Superintendent, Anthony Hamlet, was there meeting the kids and taking pictures. He has been the Superintendent for a month and a half. Mr. Hamlet is originally from West Palm Beach in Florida. He wanted to become a Superintendent because he always wanted to work with children and wants to support kids in their growth. The goal for Mr.Hamlet as a Superintendent is bringing the community and teachers together to discuss what they want for the school year. He wants to make sure the kids are taken care of academically and socially. Mr. Hamlet wants all the kids to reach their highest potential and succeed throughout the school year.
While I was at the event I noticed that law enforcement was there and I introduced myself to Commander Jason Lando. Considering what has been happening across the country, I asked Commander Lando what efforts law enforcement officers are making to connect with the African-American community. His response was that they try to connect by attending social events not just as officers but to enjoy the event. They go to church services, basketball games, celebrations, and more. Commander Lando said they try to show people that officers aren’t always around to arrest or kill. They aim to get rid of that image and show people that they are also people.
All in all the event was enjoyable, the weather was nice, and there were kids of all ages at the event to enjoy each other and the games. Kids were on the playground swinging on swings and playing tag.