The new school year started last Tuesday, and what better way to celebrate than with a block party! S.O.S. Bed-Stuy hosted “Back 2 School” on Marcy Avenue between Gates and Lexington to get the community together and excited for the new year.

Kids ran from booth to booth, jumping on inflatables, getting face-painted, making crafts, and playing games while getting stamps on their “passports”—booklets that, once filled, allowed them to receive special S.O.S. backpacks. The backpacks were stuffed with notebooks, folders, crayons, glue, pens, pencils, and all the other school supplies they need for a successful school year. (Some S.O.S. swag was snuck in for good measure.)

Attendees enjoyed hamburgers and hot dogs grilled up by NIA staff, washed down with chips, popcorn, and cotton candy. They then burned off their sugar rushes by competing in dance competitions. Winners of the dance-offs took home gift cards to places like Applebee’s and Subway. Everyone was similarly amped up by the dancing and music performed by Brooklyn United Marching Band.

In addition to all of the above, attendees spoke to community organizers that provided valuable resources on health, education, legal assistance, recreational programs, and more. S.O.S. Bed-Stuy is extraordinarily grateful to those who volunteered and those who came to table, including Uncommon Schools, Legal Aid Society, Fresh Air Fund, Repair the World, Achievement First, City Parks Foundation, Opportunity of Better Tomorrow, Osborne Association, Women’s Motivational Services, and Ms. K Dance Academy.

Neighbors In Action wishes everyone a successful and safe school year!