SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Springfield Public Schools held their annual back-to-school bash Saturday at the Springfield Expo Center.

Kids were able to pick up a bag of groceries, get back-to-school vaccines, sports physicals, hygiene items, a free backpack, enjoy games and giveaways and participate in hands-on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) learning activities.

Springfield mom of eight Kandice Walker said this was a great opportunity for her and her family.

“I received backpacks full of supplies and I received some hygiene products for my girls and I received socks,” Walker said. “And it’s just a lot of blessings flowing.”

While the Back-to-School Bash was an opportunity for parents to fill out forms and receive school supplies, it was also designed to be fun for the kids.

“Families are able to take care of immunization, to fill out free and reduced lunch applications, so free meals or reduced meals… they’re able to meet all members of SPS staff,” said Dr. Grenita Lathan, SPS Superintendent. “They’re able to just have a great day here at the Expo Center. And get ready for the upcoming school year.”

The district says it served over 4,000 people on Saturday and relied on sponsors and volunteers to put on the event.

“I think that this is a great idea to get the community together and just to come together and all the resources all in one building,” said SPS parent Jenni Buentello. “You don’t have to go to here, do the bus, you don’t have to go there.”

The Back-to-School Bash is designed to benefit SPS families while still being a fun atmosphere for kids.

“So it’s great to have it all in one,” Buentello said. “And the bounce house is all that. I mean, it’s a kid’s heaven.”

“It is so awesome for me to bring my kids. I am the mother of eight kids and I really enjoy this,” Walker said. “This is my second year coming and is very nice to bring my kids and receive all the blessings.”