Back To School of Rhode Island

Proudly serving our community for over 17 years!



The Back to School Celebration of RI was originally planned by Mr. Melvin Bell, Program Officer for the Rhode Island Foundation, and Jorge Cardenas, who at the time was a Field Coordinator for Parents Making a Difference. These two caring individuals had a great love for children. They wished to establish an organization whose goal would be to involve single parents in the education of their children, thereby helping to create an atmosphere of trust and open communication between schools, students and families.

We provide innovative programs educate and enhance urban development solutions for community at large. The Back to School of RI offers workshops such as CPR & First Aid and Early Literacy Training for parents. We also offer professional development training for Early Childhood Educators and Home Childcare providers an English and Spanish.

Beside of the educational component the Back to School of RI has been hosting the Back to School Celebration Event since 1999. Growing steadily in popularity, the Back to School Celebration event continue to build wide support and momentum throughout the community. The inaugural celebration in 1999 was held nine years ago at just one site, hosting approximately 600 Providence School student and families. Since its inception and development by Sodexho School Services, the back to School celebration has grown significantly. In 2015, the Back to School Celebration event overall was a great success. Backpacks and school supplies were distributed to almost 14,000 students at eleven different sites. Students and their families enjoyed a day of entertainment, food and music. Families that attended the event received educational information and information about free services provided at different organizations in the State of Rhode Island.

Our goal for 2016 is to provide free backpacks with school supplies for at least 14,000 students at eleven sites.

Sodexo School Services and Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island are pleased to co-sponsor our fund-raising dinner, a critically important component of the Back To School Celebration 2016.

Sodexo School Services in collaboration with Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, Providence Journal, Pawtucket Credit Union, AARP of Rhode Island, Amica Insurance, Cox Communications, CollegeBoundFund, Bank RI, United Way, City of Providence, The Providence , Central Falls, Cumberland, Pawtucket, West Warwick and Woonsocket school districts and the other 40 community based agencies have sponsored and will currently sponsor our Back To School Celebration 2016.

Educational Program Development

  1. Early Literacy Training
  2. CPR and First Aid
  3. Summer Camp (Coming Soon)
  4. After School Program (Coming Soon)
  5. Arts and Crafts

Health Program Development

  1. Free Clinic
  2. Diabetes Education
  3. Asthma Education
  4. Physical Activities
  5. Nutrition Education

First Aid and CPR Classes

In 2008 Back to School of Rhode Island received a grant from American Red Cross of Rhode Island to offer free CPR and First Aid classes in English and Spanish to low-income parents/guardians and youth.  Through this grant over 450 people were trained from April, 2008 to December 2010. After completing the training, participants have the confidence to respond in an emergency situation with skills that can save a life. Participants who met the course objectives received completion certificates, which are nationally recognized.

Currently CPR classes are offered the second Saturday of each month from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. The cost of these classes is $55.00 per person. To register, please call 401-301-5028.  The dollars you invest in training go back into your community to support the Back to School Celebration events.