On Saturday, August 5th, I attended the Cincinnati Public School’s Back to School Fest. I hadn’t attended the previous Back to School Fest and even though I helped prepare for the event, I still was unprepared for how successful the event was. It felt like the entire CPS community came out with their families and friends to get ready for a great new school year by mingling with local leaders, getting school supplies, and accessing resources.
Through my work with Michele Young and Patti Collins and their Land of Superheroes initiative, I helped organize a Superhero Parade to kick off the Fest. The parade brought together kids and local heroes to march around Cincinnati’s Washington Park displaying their Cincinnati pride and pledging to end bullying. With everyone dressed up as a superhero, the FC Cincinnati and Reds mascots came to walk in the parade and play with the kids, the Cincinnati fire department rode in a fire truck next to the marchers, the police department walked in the parade, and local leaders came out to also take part. It was an inspiring event that gave kids an opportunity to be cheered on by the community and have fun with new friends.
After the parade, we hosted a superhero themed booth where kids were given free capes and inspired to dream and design their capes for the superhero they wanted to be. It was such a huge hit, we ran out of our 312 capes and the city had gained 312 superheroes. By handing out capes, I met so many different families excited to attend the event to learn more about the upcoming school year and resources available.
Additionally, Bootsy Collins helped Michele and Patti formally introduce their initiative on stage for the community to hear and take the pledge to end bullying. Overall, it was an amazing event, and I was thankful to be part of its success and see the community come out for their local school district. Thank you to Nichelle Bolden and the rest of the CPS team for helping to incorporate us into this event and for all the hard work you put into its success!