CHICAGO — Students at Chicago Public Schools (CPS) are preparing to head back to class and a couple of events were held on Friday to help get kids ready.

In Morgan Park, Graduates Over Guns along with Chicago Excel Academy and Mount Calvary Baptist Church teamed up for a back-to-school bash. It is one of several events taking place in the city to help families get ready for the return to class.

The organizations, which handed out 200 backpacks with supplies, had free food, and several resources on hand.

“I appreciate what they did, they gave me three backpacks for my three grandbabies, and I appreciate that,” Morgan Park resident Vernicia Kenluy said.

Last Friday, this area was a crime scene following a deadly shooting and organizers say they’re determined to change that image.

“We are not afraid to be out here,” Tyree Booker, Executive Director of the Chicago Excel Academy, said. “We are not afraid to engage and we’re not afraid to participate. We’re taking back our streets one street at a time.”

In West Town, the Back-to-School Summer Jam, which was held by the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) and Chicago Public Schools, is offering students food, school supplies as well as teeth cleanings and hair cuts.

It’s part of the services that families say they’re grateful to have.

“It shows that there is an organization that cares about the kids that are attending public schools and that messaging is very present here today,” CTU event attendee Aimee Potter said.

The Back-to-School Summer Jam runs until 7 p.m. on Friday at the CTU Center near West Carroll Avenue and North Walcott Avenue.