BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The first day of school may still be weeks away, but it never hurts to start preparing for it.
Leaders in Kern County did just that by hosting an annual health and wellness fair in downtown Bakersfield.
The Kern County Department of Child Support Services continues to promote the well-being of children and self-sufficiency of families as they prepare for a new school year.
Students around Kern County are set for that first day back to school.
"We got some cool backpacks, some gum, some water and we had some fun," said student Kyle Chapple.
The 4th annual fair helps create a better life for children as they receive the tools to excel in school.
"Our mission really is to make a difference in the lives of children," said Phyllis Nance with the Kern County Child Support Services.
The DCSS partners with 40 other community organizations providing free back-packs that are filled with school supplies some families find it difficult to afford.
"There's notebooks, erasers, ruler, a pencil sharpener," said another student.
Community leaders are also offering students health screenings, free immunizations and haircuts.
"One of things that always touches my heart is when you see a child get their backpack and get their back pack on and all of a sudden their chest is out and they are so excited and we have a lot of parents that just say thank you," she said.
Last year, 1800 back-packs and school supplies were passed out and more than 100 children received free haircuts.
"We think it's important to give back to the community. We also think it's important to bring resources together because we think it takes all of us to help support children," she said.
This year about 2, 300 back-packs were handed out and more than a hundred haircuts were given to students.
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