Queens’ oldest foster care organization – Forestdale in Forest Hills – hosted its annual Back to School Fair for families last Thursday. More than 500 people attended the event that aims to celebrate the beginning of the academic year, as well as to connect children with their foster and biological families.
Each year children and families come together to enjoy a barbeque, bouncy house, face painting, balloon animals and raffle prizes. Information booths sponsored by health and community organizations were in attendance to hand out literature and offer advice to families. Most importantly, every child received a new backpack filled with school supplies thanks to donations from community supporters including Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, UNO Chicago Grill, Minuteman Press and many more. When Associate Executive Director at Forestdale, Rosemarie Ewing-James, asked the youth in attendance if they were excited to go back to school, cheers filled the group’s campus.
The nonprofit annually helps more than 1,000 families become more increasingly independent by offering tutoring resources to hundreds of foster care youth, including tutoring, SAT prep and college application workshops.