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Block party gives kids a celebration

From faux hawk hair cuts to backpacks and school supplies, families got ready for the school year.

August 19, 2009|By Christopher Cadelago

BURBANK — Hundreds of students and their parents received free school supplies, dental treatments and haircuts Saturday at Earthwalk Park as part of the city’s annual Peyton-Grismer Back-to-School Celebration.

Neighboring streets filled with residents and their cars well before the 10:30 a.m. kickoff as organizers unloaded 480 backpacks and binders, face paint, dental equipment and beauty supplies.

Organized through the Community Development Department’s Connect with Your Community initiative, the annual block party events draw from area nonprofits and service clubs such as the Kids’ Community Dental Clinic, Boys & Girls Club and Burbank Noon Lions, with the goal of engaging residents and inspiring leadership within the five focus neighborhoods, said Community Resources Coordinator Gaby Flores.


“We’re filling up,” she said, scanning the play structure where a gaggle of boys and girls wearing T-shirts proclaiming “I am Burbank!” roughhoused. “The outreach effort was the same, so I can’t think of anything other than the economy in drawing them out.”

Residents continued to pour in while JACK-FM (93.1) provided the soundtrack for an all-ages dancing troupe. Families scanned information booths on the city’s bicycling initiatives, water conservation and small-business support, while others decorated pastries with neon frosting, tossed beanbags and squirted colorful paint onto white T-shirts.

Taylor Campbell beamed from behind a barricade as her 4-year-old son Devin scanned the Marinello Schools of Beauty tent for a mirror.

“They called it a ‘faux hawk,’” she said, running her fingers over the freshly buzzed edges.

The style, which takes its inspiration from the mohawk, will be the first the incoming kindergartner wears to school.

“Does it look like Peter Parker?” Campbell asked her son. “He said he wanted the Spider-Man style.”

Children this year were required to bring themselves up to speed on services offered by the city and its partners, including the dental clinic, where 9-year-old Ramon Bolanos received his first fluoride treatment in some time.

“It feels like goo,” said Ramon, sliding his tongue over the tops of his teeth.

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