LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- With the school year just around the corner, it's crunch time for parents when it comes to back to school shopping. Saturday afternoon, parents and their children picked out backpacks and other school supplies at Algonquin Park, buying them with a "please" and "thank you."

"Helps their mother and me because what she can't get, I have to help get," grandmother Jeanette Howard said.

"That's what my mom always said - never turn down nothing free," Jeffersontown High School incoming senior Jaymond Crayton said.

The giveaway was held at the annual Unity in the Park back-to-school celebration at Algonquin Park organized by Councilwoman Mary Woolridge, D.-District 3, where families could pick up most of their students' school supplies.

"It's very important that we do this every year, and not only that, the children feel good about themselves, going back to school with their new backpacks with supplies," Woolridge said.

While the first day of school jitters are not uncommon for students and parents, there's another uncertainty hanging over this school year for JCPS students, with JCPS and the Kentucky Department of Education discussing a possible settlement hoping to avoid a state takeover of the district.

"I would like to see for the state of Kentucky to tell me what other state has taken over public schools and how are they doing," Woolridge said.

"Some of the newer students coming after me, I'm afraid of what may happen to them," Crayton said.

For Howard, the possibility of a state takeover worries her. She said she is not sure the people at the state level are as in tune with the needs of her community.

"These people we elected, we want them to handle our problems instead of somebody at the higher level," she said.

"I tell the parents not to worry about this," Woolridge said. "We have a great superintendent. We have wonderful elected school board members, and we think they will do what is right for JCPS."

►Contact reporter Dennis Ting at dting@whas11.com. Follow him on Twitter (@DennisJTing) and Facebook.

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