Oakland -- The city is gearing up for the fall with a couple of back-to-school events aimed at providing assistance and school supplies for students.
On Saturday, there will be two back-to-school bashes, one held by Oakland Natives Give Back and the Oakland Unified School District and the other hosted by a local church. The events will help engage the community and provide families with school supplies.
Oakland Natives Give Back will host its sixth annual Attend & Achieve Back-to-School event 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at City Hall. The event is designed to assist Oakland public school students in preparing for the school year. There will be "Tools for School" starter kits and other opportunities to receive additional giveaways.
About 1,000 backpacks, loaded with school supplies, and an equal amount of books will be given to students. There will also be free food and refreshments, workshops and live entertainment. Those interested are encouraged to register in advance at www.oaklandnatives.org.
"There's so much going on in the community, and our children are being impacted by gun violence," said Nyeisha DeWitt, co-founder of Oakland Natives Give Back. "We want to do more to show the young people in the community that we care."
The Shiloh Church, in partnership with Northern California Compassion Network, is also hosting its 15th annual Back to School Bash and Health Fair, giving away more than 1,000 backpacks and school supplies. There will also be music, food, resources and games at the church at 3295 School St.
The event aims to provide assistance to students in a festive style.
"We just want to make sure it feels like a celebratory event that highlights the importance of going to school every day," DeWitt said. "I think it's just a very positive day that lends itself to the spirit of what Oakland is really about."