CHICAGO — It doesn’t take long to hear the excitement just a few weeks before the start of school.

For more than 20 years, Casa Central has hosted this back-to-school event in Humbolt Park to drum up enthusiasm for the students and to help parents with the essentials their kids need.

Frank Perkins, from Casa Central, said there is a need for free backpacks and school supplies.

A parent, Moises Tueros, has twins starting kindergarten this year and another in head start.

“Things are more expensive than before and so we’re trying to take advantage of all the opportunities that we have as far as supplies goes,” Tueros said.

The back-to-school block party offered not only those supplies but health and dental screenings as well.

“The energy in the room is wonderful. The kids’ reaction is spectacular. Smiles, lots of smiles here,” Perkins said.

With a bounce house and colorful donated backpacks, the smiles are authentic. As is that energy for the start of another school year on Aug. 21 for Chicago Public Schools.