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Tulalip Tribes host Back to School Bash


August 30, 2017 | View PDF

Christopher andersson

Local student Charlie Artz hands a volunteer his ticket to get a free backpack at the Tulalip Back to School Bash on Aug. 23.

Local native students received free backpacks, school supplies and participated in rides and games at Tulalip Tribes' Annual Back to School Bash on Aug. 23.

The event at the Don Hatch Youth Center provides activities like rides and rock wall climbs for the children. Kids in the Marysville School District can also pick out a backpack to use during the upcoming school year.

"This has been an event going on for a long time," said Jessica Bustad, education coordinator for the Tulalip Youth Services Education Department.

Most of the event is funded by Tulalip Cares, the Tulalip Tribes' charity organization which funds many different organizations and events in the region, and the event is organized and put on by Tulalip Youth Services.

"The Tribes support this for the children because its nice to motivate the kids to prepare for school and it's also nice to help those kids who need it," said Bustad.

The Tribes' Back to School Bash also helps students look forward to September and the beginning of the school year.

"It gets the kids pumped up and ready for school because the Marysville School District starts in a couple of weeks," said Bustad.

"They get to start checking out of summer mode and getting into school mode," she said.

The event allows kids to choose from a number of different styles of backpacks that they have purchased new for local native children.

Bustad said she enjoys seeing the kids getting their new backpack.

"The best part of it is just seeing all of the kids happy and excited for school with their new backpacks," she said.

Local parents said that they enjoy coming to the event every August.

"We love it. We come every year," said local Melissa Gobin. "They love getting new backpacks, and also the rides and fun stuff out here."

"We come to it every year and it helps out a lot," said local Chantal Monar.

The event is also meant to support parents who could use help with school supplies, said Bustad.

"I think there is a need to help parents with the school supplies because some school supply lists are so long, so it's nice to give them some basic necessities," she said.

This year the event also provided hygiene kits for those kids who wanted them.

Christopher Andersson

Photo by christopher Andersson Local student Connor Gobin jumps on one of the rides provided at the Tulalip Back to School Bash on Aug. 23.

Bustad said they were good to have for those kids "who may not have some basic necessities."

Gobin said it was "definitely" helpful to get new backpacks "and also the school supplies that come with the backpack."

Monar said that the school supplies help a lot as well.

"It takes a lot of weight off our shoulders since we can get backpacks and supplies for our children," she said.

Bustad said that many people turned out to this year's event.

"The event's going great and the turnout has been awesome," she said. "Just in the first hour we passed out approximately 1,200 backpacks and we're currently waiting on some more backpacks for the people that are still showing up."

More information about Tulalip Youth Services is available at their website at


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