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Child welfare agency Forestdale, Inc. hosts Back to School Fair

Crowd enjoying Forestdale's Back to School Fair
Crowd enjoying Forestdale's Back to School Fair
Forestdale, Inc.

Queens' only child welfare agency Forestdale, Inc., located in Forest Hills, recently hosted a successful Back to School Fair on Aug. 28, 2014. The fair was attended by over 500 people, all of whom belonged to families served by Forestdale.

Every year the fair helps families celebrate the beginning of a new school year, by letting them enjoy a nice family barbecue, bouncy house, face painting and raffle contest. Information booths sponsored by local health and community organizations were also in attendance in order to hand out literature and advice to participating families. Towards the end of the fair, children received new backpacks filled with school supplies, thanks to donations made by companies such as Morgan Stanley, Dowling Hales, Baby Buggy, and many more.

One of the attendees included nationally recognized mental health advocate and speaker Hakeem Rahim, who spoke to families about how students should think about topics such as mental health, stigma, and seeking help. "I'm here to tell you this: your deepest pain can be a platform for your highest success. It's not the days when you are kissed and loved, it's the days when you must fight and come out positive, bruises and all. That's when you show your true character."

Forestdale, Inc. is responsible for helping up to 1000 families become more independent and resilient in the face of social and personal challenges. It offers foster care youth a variety of important resources throughout the school year, including academic tutoring sessions, SAT prep, and college application workshops. To learn more about the educational opportunities offered by Forestdale, please visit its webpage at Forestdale, Inc.

Finally in other news, please make sure to donate new school supplies to Council Majority Leader Jimmy Van Bramer's 5th Annual Back to School Supply Drive. You can donate new packets of pens, pencils, backpacks, lunchboxes, binders, loose leaf paper, folders, glue sticks, index cards, protractors, notebooks, graphing paper, rulers, calculators, markers, highlighters, crayons, watercolor paints or any other school supply you can think of.

You can drop the supplies off at the following locations:

The District Office- 47-01 Queens Blvd Ste. 205 Sunnyside, NY 11104

Sunnyside Community Services- 43-31 39th Street Sunnyside, NY

Queens Library Court Square Branch- 25-01 Jackson Avenue

Queens Library Sunnyside Branch- 43-06 Greenpoint Avenue

Queens Library Woodside Branch- 54-22 Skillman Avenue

Queens Library Broadway Branch- 40-20 Broadway

Queens Library Long Island City Branch- 37-44 21st Street

All supplies will be directly given to students in need from local schools within Queens' 26th District. Please make sure to donate before September 10, 2014.