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AboutKidz helps San Juan Unified students prepare for school

A partnership with nonprofit AboutKidz provided San Juan Unified students free backpacks and school supplies for the coming school year at its annual First Day event on Aug. 4. AboutKidz Director Jeff Pitnikoff estimated 1,000 local, low-income children and families participated. Students received a brand new backpack, along with school supplies, clothes and even a haircut.


The First Day event first began eight years ago. The nonprofit holds several drives throughout the year to collect backpacks and school supplies.


“A lot of kids in the community they’re dreading [going] back to school because they simply don’t have the supplies needed to be successful,” Pitnikoff said. “As a parent of three boys myself, I know how costly it is to get your kids ready for school … For us to be able to partner with the school district to help so many families who are truly in need is just really special.”


Kathy Marquis attended the First Day event with her two children Madyson and Kaylie, who both attend Kingswood K-8.


“[This event] gets the community together and helps people in need — It helped us,” Marquis said.


For more information about AboutKidz, visit