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Patti Collins to join CPS in preparing for a bullying-free school year on Saturday

Patti Collins is on the left in a purple sequined dress and a furry black shawl. Bootsy Collins is on the right in a purple, blue, silver and gold sequined top and top hat, with silver star-shaped glasses
Jordan Strauss/AP
Patti and Bootsy Collins arrive at VH1 Divas on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2012, at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles.

This Saturday, Cincinnati Public Schools, in collaboration with the University of Cincinnati, will celebrate the start of a new school year with a back-to-school festival at Washington Park.

The festival runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will include a parade, live music, school supply giveaways, and activities for kids.

Schools from across the district will be at the festival to help families still looking to register students for the upcoming school year. Resources from the public library, Cincinnati Works, and other organizations will also be in attendance. Families can also complete a "Back-To-School Passport" to receive a children's meal ticket that can be used at the nearby food trucks.

RELATED: Cincinnati Public Schools announces new start times for next school year

New this year is the "Superhero Parade" led by the President of the Bootsy Collins Foundation, Patti Collins, and lawyer Michele Young. The parade will celebrate everyday heroes and intends to empower kids by encouraging them to stand up to bullying. Children can dress up as their favorite superhero and join the parade, which steps off at 10:45 a.m.

Collins and Young will be leading the march. They say it's all about spreading a message of positivity in order to combat bullying.

"We just feel like if we stand up, shoulders back, chin up, keep your smile on your face, keep the twinkle in your eye, that's going to help change the way people think, live, work, and play," Collins said.

Kids marching in the parade are encouraged to be heroes themselves by taking the pledge to end bullying. For Michele Young, she says it's all about shifting the way kids think about the impact they can have on their educational environment.

"We want to change the way we're viewing it into a new paradigm," Young said. "Which is, when you see a bullying situation you say, 'Wait a minute. Am I standing by or am I the hero? Am I the villain? Can I be the hero?' "

RELATED: CPS to open a new preschool in Madisonville this fall

The festival will start immediately after the parade with a welcome message from Superintendent Iranetta Wright followed by live performances from CPS high school bands as well as a tribute to 50 years of hip-hop.

Zack Carreon is Education reporter for WVXU, covering local school districts and higher education in the Tri-State area.