Skip to contents
Englewood, Chatham, Auburn Gresham

Englewood’s Back To School Parade Is Canceled, But 8th Graders Are Getting A Socially Distant Celebration

A car parade and a billboard display are in the works for Englewood eighth-grade graduates.

The Englewood Back To School Parade is the second-oldest Black parade in the city.
  • Credibility:

ENGLEWOOD — Englewood’s 58th Annual Back to School parade is canceled, but graduating eighth-grade students can still get a free backpack filled with supplies to prepare them for next year.

Parents of graduates can fill out an online survey to request a backpack. Families must live and have attended a school in Englewood (within the 60621 or 60636 ZIP codes), and those with multiple eighth grade graduates are welcome to apply.

With all the focus on high school graduates, it made sense to show love to students closing out their elementary school experience, said Vonda Streeter, co-chair of the parade committee.

“We wanted to do something nice for them, … lift them up since we had to cancel the parade,” Streeter. “These kids deserve to be celebrated.”

In addition to the giveaway, the parade committee plans to honor eighth-grade graduates with a car parade, and 10 students’ pictures will be chosen for display on the Englewood Class of 2020 billboard at 63rd and Yale streets near the Dan Ryan.

The parade committee is still working on a date for the car parade, but it will likely be during the second or third weekend of June, Streeter said.

Students who register for the giveaway and celebration will also have the chance to win a free laptop by writing an essay on one of three topics: how COVID-19 has changed their career aspirations, what they’re most looking forward to once the pandemic is over, or who is the role model that inspired them to be their best in their eighth-grade year.

Essay submissions must be 200 words or less. All entries must be in by Wednesday.

The parade will return in 2021.

Block Club Chicago’s coronavirus coverage is free for all readers. Block Club is an independent, 501(c)(3), journalist-run newsroom.

Subscribe to Block Club Chicago. Every dime we make funds reporting from Chicago’s neighborhoods.

Already subscribe? Click here to support Block Club with a tax-deductible donation.