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Prince George's students gear up for new school year

Saturday - 8/10/2013, 8:55pm  ET

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Parents and students wait in a line to get a backpack and school supplies before the start of the school year. The line wrapped around the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro Saturday. (WTOP/Kathy Stewart)

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. - A massive back-to-school fair made sure students have the basic tools for success for that all important first day of school.

School supplies and more than 5,000 backpacks were given away at the Prince Georges County Public Schools' back-to-school fair held Saturday at the Show Place Arena in Upper Marlboro.

This was the third year for the event. This year's theme was "Bright Beginnings for Bright Futures." The floor of the arena was covered with exhibits of county schools and county agencies providing resources and information for parents and students.

The turnout was huge. The line wrapped around the building as parents and kids waited for the doors to open at 10 a.m.

"The board is really, really supportive of this event because it's a great opportunity for parents to get what they need." County Board of Education Vice-Chair Carolyn Boston says.

Also, she says the fair gets kids and parents excited for the new year. School begins Monday, Aug. 19 in the county.

Frances Watson, from Upper Marlboro, brought her seven grandchildren with her. She applauds the county for providing students with the basic supplies for the new school year.

Watson is a teacher at Frances Scott Key Middle School in District Heights, Md. She knows the importance of students having what they need.

"Children arrive to school without pencils and pens, paper, notebooks and book bags. So, just to have the supplies that everyone else has, you know that's a big deal for a little kid," she says.

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