BROOKLYN - About 1,000 public school students got new backpacks Wednesday at Borough Hall to encourage them to stay in school.

The Brooklyn chapter of the NAACP, Borough President Marty Markowitz and education officials were on hand to give out the backpacks, which were stuffed with essential school supplies.

The giveaway is part of the NAACP's Back To School/Stay In School rally. Officials said the project is meant to promote student achievement.

Teachers are also preparing for the school year. Schools Chancellor Joel Klein spoke to 3,000 new instructors during orientation at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan.

He spoke about improved reading and math scores and said about 10,000 more students graduated from high school last year than when he took the position five years ago.

The school year starts September 4.

Related information:Brooklyn Public Library