Students stock up on school supplies at IPS Back to School Festival

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It was the start of back-to-school excitement and energy during this year’s Indianapolis Public Schools Back to School Festival.

Parents and students found some much-needed support to get ready for the new school year. One by one, thousands of students and parents showed up at two Indianapolis Public Schools on Monday to stock up on free school supplies at the back-to-school festival. Each student received a backpack filled with several different school items including crayons, notebooks and folders.

The event happened at Sankofa School of Success at Arlington Woods on the city’s east side and at Northwest Middle School on the city’s west side.

Superintendent Aleesia Johnson says she’s excited about this new school year, especially after two years since COVID-19’s initial impact was felt by schools, teachers, students and parents. “There’s an energy unlike anything you can ever sort of experience when you have kids in buildings ready to learn and excited about the year ahead.”

Christopher Mims, a parent, said, “I’ve got a feeling it’s going to get better because I mean we didn’t get down to not the worst, but it got bad.”

Tihesha Henderson, the head of school at Sankofa School of Success, said, “We had a number of families that we just didn’t know where they were and so technology was a big issue.”

The superintendent says the district is prepared to bring back a mask mandate should they need it to keep their schools open and keep the community healthy. “We’ve learned to sort of never say never at this point and just be ready to respond, keeping the safety and the health of our students and our staff as our first priority.”