Parker celebrates 15th annual harvest fest, distributes over 1000 backpacks

Sen. Kevin Parker (fourth from left), with recipients of backpacks at his 15th Annual Harvest Fest event in Brooklyn.
Sen. Kevin Parker (fourth from left), with recipients of backpacks at his 15th Annual Harvest Fest event in Brooklyn.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Senator Kevin Parker marked his 15th Annual Harvest Fest back-to-school celebration with a distribution of over 1000 backpacks on Saturday, Aug. 20, at Paerdegat Park in his 21st Senate District in Brooklyn.

The politician, accompanied by Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, greeted families as they received backpacks filled with school supplies to prepare students for the new year, and later lauded parents for their commitment to education at the return of the fest that was scaled down during the last 24 months.

“I am pleased to be here with you today, as we celebrate our 15th annual back to school event. We didn’t do it this big during the pandemic, but we didn’t stop, we did it in a social distancing way making sure that we supplied the things needed for our young people to have a good experience when they go back into the classroom.”

Sen. Kevin Parker, back row, and Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke front row, with members of Sesame Flyers organization, one of the sponsors of the Annual Harvest Fest.
Sen. Kevin Parker, back row, and Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke front row, with members of Sesame Flyers organization, one of the sponsors of the Annual Harvest Fest. Photo by Tangerine Clarke

“We obviously wanted to make sure that we bridge the cost of school supplies so that it’s not a burden on families in our community,” said Sen. Parker, applauding major sponsors and friends including Long Island Consistory #61, Delta Roe Mega Chapter AKA, Sesame Flyers, and the American Debate League. He also thanked CABS Healthcare, Emblem Health, Spectrum TV, DSW, Target, and Five Below.

He added that he hosts the back-to-school celebration because of the importance of education in the community. “This is a shared value. I don’t care where you go, education has been critical for every community, he said, using the quote “education is not just a key to opening a door of opportunity, its a sledgehammer to knock that door of opportunity down.”

“We must do everything that we can and every opportunity we get to make sure our young people receive access to education. I am very proud that over the time I have been in the state legislature, every year money was put into public education than any other state in the history of the United States, that is a huge accomplishment. We will continue to work for you, said Parker, who represents Flatbush, East Flatbush, Canarsie, Midwood and Kensington in the New York State Senate.

A happy little girl shows off her painting from the IG Natural Creature able at Sen. Kevin Parker's 15th Annual Harvest Fest.
A happy little girl shows off her painting from the IG Natural Creature able at Sen. Kevin Parker’s 15th Annual Harvest Fest. Photo by Tangerine Clarke

Praising her colleague, who she called her brother, Congresswoman Clarke lauded Sen. Parker’s service as extraordinary, adding that the community is blessed to have someone like him who has been all about public service for most of his life.

“I know, because he used to work for my mother so that’s to tell you how long Kevin has been at this working on behalf of the community,” said Clarke.

“I came out today because I know that your family need our support, and what Kevin is doing today is something that sits at the heart of every family in our community. It’s about education.”

“Our children need us in this moment after two years of the pandemic. They’re going back into the classroom having struggled through remote learning and it is up to us, the village, to make sure that every child has the supplies they need to complete their education. It’s up to us to make sure that they get the support they need, whether it’s tutoring, whether it’s help with their homework assignment, and that we’re there for them because they must make up for lost time and then some,” said Clarke, who thanked Sen. Parker and sponsors for making education a top priority.

In addition to DJ music, dance competition, painting on canvas, and giveaways, the annual event had a successful return to the in-person gathering, that kept everyone entertained.

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