Summer vacation is winding down but before the first bell rings, the local housing authority in New Haven hosted a back to school fair to make sure students were not only ready for class but also excited.
"Families that live with us are living with us because they have economic challenges, and so anything we can do to help them fill some of the gaps I think is useful," Dr. Karen DuBois-Walton, executive director of Elm City Communities.
Six-hundred children went home with new backpacks filled with school supplies.
"I think this is a positive thing for the children going back to school because some people are unfortunate to have things like that or be able to purchase this," said Shakia Godfrey.
She brought her niece, Melanie Freeman, to the fair at the Clinton Avenue School.
"I liked it because they come with school supplies instead of you buying them and spending money," said Melanie.
Melanie, who had her face painted like Minnie Mouse to match the T-shirt she wore to the fair, said her favorite part of was the bounce house and the dancing.
As some children followed dance instructors showing off different routines, others re-energized with a sweet treat.
"They get fun and they get prizes and gifts. They get to enjoy themselves," said Godfrey.
The fire department and the New Haven Free Public Library's Bookmobile also took part.
While the students were busy having fun, their families visited booths to connect with social services available to them in New Haven.
It's the second year Elm City Communities has hosted a back-to-school fair, and officials said they hope it continues to grow.