New school supplies, yellow buses and lunch boxes. It’s that time of year again!

Saying goodbye to summer and beginning a new school year can be difficult for families. But with the help of the Back to School Bash, kids and their families can celebrate their summers and get excited for the school year ahead.

Presented by Encounter Church, The Sprout Fund and Lawrenceville United, the 2nd Annual Back to School Bash will be held on Saturday, August 8, at Arsenal Park in Lawrenceville.

The Back to School Bash is a free, family event that supports a healthy and happy start to the school year (not to mention a little more fun before the summer is over). From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., kids and their families can play and learn with activities such as a Maker Party, free food, face painting, music, a bounce house and more. Local educational and youth resources will also be on hand to help families get involved in fall activities.

Want a cool, new backpack? More than 300 will be given away, all filled with new school supplies to start the year.

New kid at the Back to School Bash this year will be the Pittsburgh Maker Party, organized by The Sprout Fund. This is Sprout’s 3rd Annual Maker Party, but its first time teaming up with the Back to School Bash. In previous years, the Maker Party has been held at the Society for Contemporary Craft and TechShop.

Ryan Coon, program officer at The Sprout Fund, says that the partnering organizations decided to combine audiences this year to offer a large-scale summer wrap-up focusing on innovative programming and preparation for the new school year.

“The Maker Party at the Back to School Bash will get kids excited for back to school time and in the learning mode,” Coon says.

The Maker Party, along with partners from City of Learning, an initiative aimed at helping youths learn creatively and pursue their interests throughout the year, will bring a variety of organizations to the Back to School Bash to lead hands-on activities.

Highlights include a programming and design station by Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild, a circuit kit making station from Assemble, screen-printing led by educators from The Andy Warhol Museum and a mobile recording station sponsored by Hiphop Unlocked.

Coon notes that the Maker Party is a special opportunity for children, youth and families to discover available resources and to raise awareness among the community about learning opportunities throughout the year.

The Sprout Fund expects 800 city-wide visitors at the Back to School Bash and the Pittsburgh Maker Party. RSVP on Facebook and visit the websites of the partnering organizations to learn more.

Maeve McAllister

Maeve has just completed her freshman year at Wellesley College, where she plans to major in Economics. Born and raised in Pittsburgh, and a lifelong resident of Shadyside, she is a graduate of The Ellis...