COVINA, CA – More than 400 families left the Covina-Valley Unified School District Health and Wellness Center with huge smiles and backpacks brimming with free school supplies, thanks to the District’s first-ever “Back to School Extravaganza” held Aug. 10.

The event – a resource fair aimed at preparing District families for the first day of school on Monday, Aug. 21 – included a complimentary pancake breakfast, free haircuts, health screenings, and mental health resources from the District’s Student Services team of counselors, social workers, and nurses.

C-VUSD partnered with West Covina City Councilmember Ollie Cantos, the Covina Kiwanis and Sunrise Rotary of Covina clubs, REACH Church San Gabriel Valley, and more to make the event a reality and gathered community donations during a “Stuff the Bus” fundraiser at the Walmart at the Eastland Center in West Covina on July 29. All 700 backpacks, totes, and laptop covers were stuffed with school supplies including paper, notebooks, glue sticks, crayons, markers, scissors, binders, folders, rulers, pencils, pens, and more.

“This is a great opportunity for us to come together with some tremendous service groups in our neighborhood and give back to our community,” C-VUSD Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Eminhizer said. “We want to make sure our students are ready and excited for the start of the school year. At C-VUSD, we strive to eliminate any barriers that would keep our students from being successful in school.”

C-VUSD structured its “Back to School Extravaganza” to introduce the Covina-Valley community to the District’s Health and Wellness Center and Family Resource Room. The Center opened during the 2022-23 school year and serves as the hub for the District’s social workers and the entire Health and Student Services Department, including a team of registered and licensed vocational nurses.

“I like that I can come and get my backpack and school stuff for the year, and we get to eat pancakes,” said Joshua Salas, an incoming third-grader at Workman Elementary School.

C-VUSD noticed a clear need for the event when they hosted a free backpack giveaway before the 2022-23 school year and saw all 200 claimed in about 45 minutes, according to Director of Student Services Dr. Matt Dalton.

“We wanted to bring everyone into one central place here at the Health and Wellness Center and provide them with a variety of resources to care for both the physical and mental side of health,” Dalton said. “We want to let our families know the Center is open and accessible, please come visit us and get whatever support you need.”


CVUSD_EXTRAVAGANZA1: Covina-Valley Unified students attended the District’s “Back to School Extravaganza” on Aug. 10 where they enjoyed a free pancake breakfast and received backpacks stuffed with school supplies. More than 400 families attended the event in preparation for the first day of the 2023-24 school year.

CVUSD_EXTRAVAGANZA2: Covina-Valley Unified’s first-ever “Back to School Extravaganza” on Aug. 10 provided District students with free haircuts to get them ready for the first day of school.