EDINBURG – More than 12,000 students and their families recently joined the Edinburg Consolidated Independent School District’s Back to School Bash at South Middle School. Only in its second year, the community-wide event reached an attendance milestone, quadrupling last year’s estimated crowd of 3,000 attendees.

“This has become one of the district’s largest school community events. We had children from all walks of life come in and go home happy,” said ECISD Interim Superintendent Gilbert Garza Jr. “This was an awesome experience for the children and a momentous day for Edinburg CISD.”

The event provided students and their families with free school supplies, haircuts, vision checks, vaccinations, food, drinks and much more.

“It’s great for single parents like me, and other families that need it as well,” said Pricilla Gonzalez, an ECISD parent. “It’s great support and it’s very awesome.”

“It was a good day to come out for free school supplies and a free haircut for my little boy,” said Adan Hernandez, an ECISD parent. “It’s nice for the school district to do this.”

Edinburg CISD’s Parental Involvement Department organized the Back to School Bash to help families and their children reduce the cost of getting their children ready for the new school year.

“The event was amazing. We had a huge turnout and we’re really excited to see all the children that came by,” said ECISD Parental Involvement Coordinator Sandra Rodriguez.

Several of the district’s departments, community and business organizations participated in the event, handing out supplies and valuable information for both students and their parents.

“We are very excited, because we get to see all of our students and we get to see their smiling faces,” said ECISD Student and Social Services Coordinator Sofia Hinojosa. “We’re getting them ready for the first day of school by giving them all the different supplies.”

One of the most popular locations inside the school’s gymnasium was the Career and Technical Education Department’s haircut station. More than 50 stylists, which included several current and former cosmetology students, offered free haircuts to approximately 400 boys and girls.

"It makes me feel good. It also gives us experience and it gets us out of our comfort zone,” said Jesus Garcia Jr., a current cosmetology student. “I’m planning on being a barber after I graduate from high school."

Rodriguez said that they are already getting ready for next year’s Back to School Bash and planning to make the event even bigger and better.