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Free School Supplies To Be Distributed At Barbeque

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The new school year kicks off in Springfield, Massachusetts this weekend with a barbecue.

   The annual back to school celebration is Saturday at Blunt Park.  It’s free to students, parents and school staff.  There will be food, music, and games.  Springfield schools communications officer Azell Cavaan said six thousand backpacks stuffed with donated school supplies will be given away.

   " Clearly, some of our families will be helped by this financially, but it is for everybody, even if you are not financially strapped. It is a back to school present."

   Classes start Monday for the 27,000 students in the Springfield Public Schools.

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston. He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester. Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011. Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.