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For the eighth straight year, CREC will give away over 1,200 backpacks filled with school supplies to Hartford area children who are getting ready for the new school year. This year’s event will return to Block Party format after two years as Drive-Thru.

From 3-6 p.m. on August 17 at CREC Central, guests are invited to check-in and receive backpacks for all children in attendance. CREC expects that nearly 3,500 people will attend the event and is closing a section of Charter Oak Avenue, between Taylor St. and Huyshope Ave.

Guests can obtain resources and giveaways from many different community organizations including CREC Adult Education and Career Counseling, CT Transit, Ice Cream for a Dream, Hartford Public Library, CT Children’s Medical Center, UConn Health, Trinity Health, Intercommunity Healthcare, Girl Scouts of Connecticut, Hispanic Health Council, Hartford Yard Goats, Access Health CT, Post University, Connecticare, Community Renewal Team, American Red Cross, Angel of Edgewood, CT DOT, City of Hartford, Community Health Resources, HartBeat Ensemble, Whitson’s Culinary Group, CREC Head Start, CREC Transportation, the Hartford Region Open Choice Program, CREC Magnet Schools, and CREC Resource Group.

Building on the success of the past seven years, the CREC Foundation has obtained extremely generous sponsorship from AARP, United Healthcare, Latino Way, Voya, Our Piece of the Pie, the Simon Konover Company, Camelo Communications, Griffin Health, Mega Education, the Regional School Choice Office, and Hot 93.7 FM.

Hot 93.7 FM is the event’s media sponsor and will be broadcasting live from the event with their on-air talent.

Backpacks will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis and are only guaranteed to the first 1,200 children.

Members of the media are welcome to attend the Back-to-School Block Party.

For more information, the public can call the CREC at 860-247-2732. To donate to the event, anyone can contribute at A $20 donation covers the cost of a full backpack for one child. More information about the CREC Foundation can be found at