The University District and Councilmember Rasheed N.C. Wyatt are hosting a free backpack giveaway this weekend, here's what you need to know. The event will take place on Sunday, August 15, 2021, from 2 to 4 pm at the Martha P. Mitchell Community Center, located at 175 Oakmont Ave in Buffalo.

Backpacks stuffed with school supplies will be provided for free. The child MUST be present at the event in order to receive a bookbag, so please make sure each child attends.  Supplies will be given out on a "first-come, first-served" basis. They will also be providing complimentary hair cuts courtesy of Sharp Image Barbershop.

If you have not been vaccinated, please wear a mask to this event. You can reach out to the University District for more info by calling 851-5165 or visiting its Facebook page.

As your kids head back to school on September 8, here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to COVID-19, per Buffalo Superintendent Dr. Cash's letter to parents, teachers, staff and stakeholders:

- Masks will be required, regardless of vaccination status, for students and staff
- Regular testing of students and staff will happen on a regular basis, with 30 percent being randomly tested weekly
- All students will return to in-person classes, five days per week
- Students will be permitted to eat in cafeterias, so long as a three-feet space can be maintained between each student when they remove their masks to eat or drink
- All staff must be fully vaccinated
- In-classroom lunches may be utilized by school administrators and staff
- Students who have an eligible medical exemption can choose remote learning (requests for medical exemptions must be submitted to or mailed to Dr. Sharon Brown, Assistant Superintendent for Student Support Services; 427 City Hall, Buffalo, NY 14202)
- The cleaning protocols from the 2020-2021 school year will remain in place
- Daily temperature checks and screening questions for staff will remain in place
- Masks will be required on school buses


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