It’s back to school again in Los Angeles and all across the city parents and teachers are gearing up for another exciting year of education. This year, folks at the WACO Theater Center in West Hollywood hosted their first ever Back 2 School Bash for 90 underprivileged, high school and middle school aged children in the community. Volunteers served a variety of healthy snacks, sandwiches and drinks to a joyful crowd of promising young teenagers and preteens.

They played a variety of different games, received school supplies, book bags, haircuts and manicures in an effort by the WACO center to build a sense of camaraderie and confidence amongst the children as they get ready to start another year of schooling, “it’s one thing to provide them with backpacks and school supplies, it’s another thing to send them back with preparedness and confidence to really just own the school year,” says director of External Affairs at the WACO Theater Center, Trell Thomas. He has partnered with the Assistance League of Los Angeles who have been serving children in Los Angeles for 100 years.

Throughout the afternoon, the children gathered around a variety of different board games and activities to encourage friendship and bonding. The biggest crowd amassed around a lively game of Twister as the kids twisted and contorted themselves across the floor as the group shouted out the commands, “left hand red!, right hand blue!” there was plenty of laughter to go around the room, “we’ve built in things like haircuts and manicures and allowing them to play games and build with each other because if they can create that community and confidence then they can be more successful as students and ultimately as people in the world.”

The Assistance League of Los Angeles is an organization of women devoted to giving service to youth partnered with the WACO theater, “When we met, we had an instant feeling of camaraderie because your serving children and we serve 22,000 school kids per year and our focus is education; to help them get to school and stay in school, helping them to get an education, feel good about themselves, advance in their lives, express themselves, get haircuts, eye exams and beauty products and most importantly to help them feel really proud and ready to go back to school next week,” says CEO of the Assistance League of Los Angeles, Melanie Merians.

“When we met with WACO Theater through Trell Thomas to do this back to school bash, we knew instantly that we had found a compadre that we could partner with to provide the kids with a fabulous experience and a shopping spree to help them feel good and proud of themselves on their way back to school.” Leaving no child behind in 2019, the founders of the Back 2 School Bash made an impactful first impression on the youth that will likely help them form lasting bonds throughout their education and beyond. No wonder there was so much excitement in the room.