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TFA New Jersey and the City of Newark Send Students Back to School in Style

There were more than 700 attendees at the back-to-school event, which marked the kickoff to TFA NJ’s 30th anniversary. 

New Jersey-Back to School Event Photo 8

September 6, 2023

On Wednesday, August 23, TFA NJ helped students gear up for September with the help of the City of Newark by hosting a back-to-school event at the Boylan Recreation Center. More than 700 guests joined the festivities and through the generosity of its partners, TFA NJ was able to give away more than 1,000 backpacks to students and families!

"We are so grateful for the fantastic success of the Backpack Event yesterday,' said Larena Flemmings, Managing Director of Outreach, Partnerships, and Alliances for TFA NJ. 'We appreciate the hard work and partnership to reach over 700 students with backpacks, supplies, and books. The joy from the students, parents, and guardians was palpable as they chose books and bookbags, waited in line for snow cones, and danced to the music from the DJ. We were thrilled to have the event in the West Ward at Boylan Street Recreation Center, a neighborhood cultural hub. Taneesha from Rollin on Ice (snow cones) teaches at 13th Avenue School. The Bronze Shields and Vulcan Pioneers eagerly assisted students as they chose backpacks. The book donations from United Way, Source of Knowledge, and Bridge of Books Foundation allowed each student to leave with two or more books. We were happy to align with the Mayor’s 10-point literacy initiative, and each family was given the Literacy pamphlet flyer."


The Newark community showed up in full force leading up to and during the event to support students as they prepare to enter a new school year. Leaders including Councilman Lawrence Crump, Councilman Duprè Kelly, and Councilwoman Louise Scott-Rountree, local organizations The Vulcan Pioneers, Source of Knowledge, the Bronze Shields, the Bridge of Books Foundation, the Big Brothers Big Sisters Essex, Hudson, and Union Counties, and United Way of Greater Newark, and TFA NJ alumni and staff helped ensure the day’s success by spreading the word leading up to the event, volunteering on-site, and providing donations.

The event marked the kickoff to TFA NJ’s 30th anniversary. When the region launched in 1993, the narrative for students in cities like Newark and Camden was uncertain. What began as a bold experiment with 23 corps members has become a powerful network for change and a cornerstone of the movement for educational equity in New Jersey. Today, the region boasts more than 1,700 alumni, more than 80 corps members, and several school partners working in pursuit of one day when all children will have the opportunity to attain an excellent education. Through visionary leadership, bold decision-making, and committed partnerships, TFA NJ and leaders across the state are helping students and teachers defy the odds.

To follow along as TFA NJ celebrates its 30th anniversary and to join in on the fun, follow @tfanj on Instagram.