Kevin, Erick, Erika and Elizabeth Romero check out the free school supplies booth, which was down to a handful of pens and notepads by early afternoon.

On Saturday morning parents, students, volunteers and school district staff held hands as they danced to the beat of a drum in the gymnasium of Fruitvale’s United Academy for Success as part the Oakland Unified School District’s first Back to School Festival. They formed a circle, led by members of the Medicine Warriors, a Native American dance troupe. “This dance signifies friendship and unity,” George Galvis of the Native American community center Intertribal Friendship House said to the crowd.

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