Powered by a grant from the Independence Blue Cross Foundation, the bus will make 10 stops throughout the City of Philadelphia, bringing families critical information and resources.
PHILADELPHIA, PA — The School District of Philadelphia announced plans for the second annual Back-to-School Celebration and Bus Tour, which will make a total of 10 stops composed of four mega-events and six pop-up events. For the second year in a row, the Independence Blue Cross Foundation will support the tour featuring a specially-wrapped school bus headed across Philadelphia to make resources and information accessible for students and families.
“I am thankful to the Independence Blue Cross Foundation and the mega-event co-sponsors for their support to help Philadelphia families prepare for the 2022-2023 school year, which starts on Monday, August 29,” said Tony B. Watlington, Sr., Ed.D., superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia. “Meeting students and families where they are is critical for school engagement, so I’m thrilled that the tour will be bringing crucial resources directly to families in neighborhoods across the city.”
The tour will kick off with a pop-up event at noon on Monday, August 1 at the Bridesburg Recreation Center. At each stop, students and families will have an opportunity to communicate with School District of Philadelphia Street Team Ambassadors to receive a free backpack, school supplies and important back-to-school information, register for pre-Kindergarten through grade 12 and sign up for the Parent Portal.
The first mega-event will start at 10 a.m. on Friday, August 5 at Northeast High School Sports Complex. In addition to opportunities provided at the pop-up event, at each mega-event families will have opportunities to receive free state-mandated immunizations and the required school and sports physicals as well as free COVID-19 vaccinations. Mega-events will feature food trucks, ice cream and interactive, educational activities for children, and are co-sponsored by Radio One, Office Depot, My Philly Lawyer, Countrywide Home Care and Eagles Eye Mobile.
“We know from the first bus tour last summer that it is an effective way to engage with students and their families and build excitement about the return to learning, while raising awareness about important health care matters for children,” said Foundation President Rev. Dr. Lorina Marshall-Blake. “We also know that neighborhood-by-neighborhood, even block-by-block, people’s access to health care and information can be very different and we are committed to reducing those disparities, which this tour helps achieve.”
A media event with Dr. Watlington, Mayor Kenney and Rev. Dr. Marshall-Blake will take place the morning of the first mega-event on Friday, August 5. A complete list of the Back-to-School Bus Tour stops and the latest back-to-school updates can be found at philasd.org/ringthebell.