A Fun-Filled Day of Learning and Empowerment for Children and Families

LOS ANGELES, CA – On Saturday, August 26, 2023, the Jane Addams Park in Lawndale, California, came alive with excitement as the 18th Annual Back2School Community Health Resource Fair unfolded. With hundreds in attendance, the event, founded by civil rights attorney and child advocate Areva Martin, in partnership with the Special Needs Network (SNN), celebrated a day of learning, empowerment, and community unity.

 The theme of this year’s event was “Unlocking Lifelong Success: Early Intervention for Equity and Community Empowerment.” As the sun shone brightly, families and individuals from all walks of life gathered to partake in a day filled with education, entertainment, and community engagement.

“It’s a great day, and I commend Areva Martin for all the great work she’s done for Special Needs Network to make sure that kids that might have autism or be on the spectrum have the resources. And that parents have the training to know how to better serve their kids as well,” said Senator Steven Bradford of the 35th Senate District, which includes Lawndale where the event was hosted.

Assembly Member Tina McKinnor, Lawndale Mayor Robert Pullen-Miles, and other special guests were among the additional distinguished attendees. 

The Community Health Resource Fair offered a wide range of services and activities aimed at enhancing the well-being of attendees. These included:

  • FREE Lunch and Snacks: Thanks to McDonald’s generous support, attendees enjoyed complimentary meals throughout the day.
  • FREE Health and Dental Screenings: Healthcare professionals were on hand to provide free health and dental check-ups, ensuring the community’s well-being.
  • FREE Professional Haircuts: Skilled barbers and hairstylists offered complimentary haircuts, helping individuals look and feel their best.
  • FREE Food and Beverages: Attendees were treated to free food and beverages to keep them energized throughout the day.
  • FREE Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: Fresh produce was distributed to promote healthy eating habits.
  • FREE Blood Pressure, Glucose, and HIV Testing, along with PReP: Medical experts provided essential health screenings and information.
  • LIVE Music and Entertainment: Local artists and performers kept the crowd entertained with lively music and engaging performances.
  • Exciting Prize Giveaways: Attendees had the chance to win fantastic prizes, including free phones or tablets from TruConnect for those with EBT cards.
  • Petting Zoo and Pony Rides for the Kids: Children delighted in the petting zoo and pony rides, creating unforgettable memories.
  • Backpack and School Supplies Giveaway: As part of the back-to-school spirit, backpacks and essential school supplies were distributed to ensure students were well-prepared for the upcoming academic year.

    The event was a testament to the power of community unity and empowerment. Special Needs Network, Inc. (SNN), a nonprofit grassroots organization, played a pivotal role in organizing the event. SNN focuses on advocating for the rights of underserved and marginalized communities, recognizing the intersectionality of individuals with disabilities in the broader context of civil rights and racial justice.

    The Back2School Community Health Resource Fair served as a beacon of hope, bringing people together and creating opportunities for all. It showcased the strength of community collaboration and underscored the importance of early intervention for equity and empowerment. This annual gathering continues to be a source of inspiration, reminding everyone that positive change is possible when communities unite for a common purpose.

      Special Needs Network, Inc. (SNN) is a nonprofit grassroots organization responding to the crisis of autism and other developmental disabilities in underserved communities. We recognize the intersectionality of individuals with disabilities and that their fight for disability rights is inextricably tied to the fight for racial justice and the civil rights of all people.