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CREC Helps More Than 2,000 Get Ready for School

At its second annual Back to School Block Party, CREC sent a strong message to the Greater Hartford community—both through its words and its actions.

“It’s not about what school you go to right now,” said Aura Alvarado, CREC’s director of communications and community relations. “It’s about getting our kids ready to be successful in every school and every program. We’re going to be great together.

The August 18 block party, organized by CREC and held at the agency’s headquarters on Charter Oak Avenue in Hartford, was a collaborative effort—an opportunity for the Greater Hartford community to come together to help area children and families as they prepare to start the new school year.

At the event, CREC, along with the city of Hartford and more than 30 community groups, provided important information about schools and local services and free food to the more than 2,000 people who attended, and HOT 93.7, the block party’s media sponsor, did a live broadcast. The local Ice Cream for a Dream truck gave treats to children who shared their hopes and dreams, nearly 200 children received free haircuts from local hairdressers and barbers, and members of the Hartford Youth Public Safety Program and the Hartford police and fire departments led field games.

Building on last year’s success, CREC doubled the amount of backpacks given away at its Back to School Block Party. This year, CREC gave 1,200 free backpacks filled with school supplies to children between the ages of 3 and 17 on a first-come; first-served basis. Donations allowed CREC to distribute these items, which will help alleviate some of the financial burden on families as they get ready for the first day of school.

“Our mission here is to serve the region, and we are doing just that,” said CREC Executive Director Greg Florio. “We are trying to help families get ready for school, and that’s very, very important.

As a regional educational service center, CREC’s goal is to make a difference in the lives of all children and families, and it has been doing so for 50 years. It always puts children and families first, and the Back to School Block Party is an example of this.