Back to School

Need School Supplies? Here's Where to Get Free Back-to-School Items in Chicago

NBC10 Boston

The start of the new school year is almost here, but school supply costs have risen, and many families are still struggling financially because of the pandemic.

To assist families, local groups are holding school supply giveaways and drives throughout Chicago.

Here is a list of events happening in the coming days: 

CPS Back to School Bashes

Back-to-School Bashes will be held at Chicago Public Schools during the next few days, offering students a place to hang out with their classmates and pick up supplies. According to CPS, there will be music, food, games, and activities for families, as well as the opportunity to get vaccinated against COVID. All events take place from 2-5 p.m.

  • Aug. 5: Field Elementary School, 7019 N. Ashland Ave.
  • Aug. 9: Fenger Academy High School, 11220 S. Wallace St.
  • Aug. 10: Chicago Vocational High School, 2100 E. 87th St.
  • Aug. 11: Michele Clark High School, 5101 W. Harrison St.
  • Aug. 12: William F. Finkl Academy, 2332 S Western Ave.

Discover Shine Bright Back to School Event

The credit card company's event will provide food, music, face painting, and free supplies for students on a first-come, first-served basis. 

10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at 8650 S. Cottage Grove Ave.

Chicago Urban League Back To School Festival

This event will provide free school supplies for kindergarten through 12th-grade students, as well as COVID-19 vaccinations, food, music, raffles, and other giveaways.

10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at 4510 S. Michigan Ave.

Ramirez Back to School Family Fair

State Rep. Delia Ramirez invites Chicagoans to enjoy live music, games, and activities, as well as free food and school supplies for adults who attend with their children. Families can renew their driver's licenses and identification cards, as well as get school physicals, health screenings, and STI/HIV services. Moderna and Pfizer COVID-19 immunizations will also be accessible for everyone 6 months and older.

Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 1345 N. Karlov Ave.

International Masons and Eastern Stars Parade & Cookout

The William V. Banks Grand Lodge & Lillian Gill Grand Chapter will host the free event in Levin Park on Saturday, beginning with a parade at noon and concluding with a cookout, games, and a backpack giveaways. To receive a book bag, children must be present.

12-8 p.m. Saturday at 5458 W. Kinzie Parkway

RefugeeONE Back To School Backpack Donation Drive

400 backpacks filled with notebooks, paper, crayons, pens, and pencils, as well as other supplies, will be given away on Saturday by the North Side organization.

11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Unity Lutheran Church, 1212 W Balmoral Ave.

9th Ward School Back to School Event

A family-friendly event with games, food and fun. Students can receive backpacks filled with supplies, learning materials and other resources.

From 4-7 p.m. on Aug. 9 at 10355 S. Woodlawn Ave.

10th Ward Back to School Giveaway

Limited amounts of school supplies will be distributed. Children who live in the 10th Ward must be present.

From 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Aug.13 at 10500 S. Ewing Ave.

Kelvyn Park Back to School Fair

While enjoying food and activities, students can get free backpacks, school supplies, dental checks, and COVID-19 immunizations.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Aug. 13 at 4438 West Wrightwood Ave.

City Motivators Back To School Giveaway

The nonprofit is holding a giveaway with raffles, food, drinks, music, games, backpacks, and school supplies.

From 4-6 p.m. on Aug. 17 at Local Market Foods, 2101 E. 71st St.

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