New backpacks, school supplies for back-to-school celebration - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

New backpacks, school supplies for back-to-school celebration

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SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -

The first day of school is right around the corner for Springfield students. On Saturday, Springfield Public Schools and Sodexo, their food service company, hosted the back-to-school celebration.

The event is free and open to any child that attends a school in the city.

8-year-old Michael Ortiz is rocking a new style for the third grade.

"It's a Mohawk!" said Ortiz.

He's going to class with high expectations. 

"Our third grade teachers told us it would be really fun!"

To kick off the new school year, Michael was one of 6,000 other Springfield students to attend the back-to school celebration. The students received new backpacks that were stuffed with school supplies and books.

"We're getting book bags," said Korey and Kamiyah Simmons. 

The Springfield Federation of Paraprofessionals partnered with a national non-profit organization called First Book to bring The Free Books Initiative to Springfield. 

"We're so happy to bring this opportunity to the kids in Springfield. If you look around there are a lot of happy faces," said Catherine Mastronardi, Springfield Federation of Paraprofessionals.

It took an 18-wheeler to haul 40,000 books into the city.

Copyright 2015 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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