The city of Charleston is seeking donations of school supplies for the 12th annual First Day Festival on Aug. 17, at which 4,000 children will receive free backpacks filled with the donated supplies.

More than 30 businesses have already partnered with the city to provide school supplies, which volunteers will pack into 4,000 backpacks to be given away at the festival. Students will receive school supplies including folders, crayons and writing utensils, said Mindy Sturm, director of the mayor's Office for Children, Youth and Families.\

"We try to give them something that gets them excited," Sturm said. "They can go to school proud that they have some new things to start the year."

The First Day Festival also provides families with information on educational resources in the area alongside attractions including free boat rides and tours of the South Carolina Aquarium. More than 10,000 people from Charleston and surrounding areas attended the event last year, Mayor Joe Riley said

"The beginning of the school year for our children and their families should be a big civic event," Riley said. "We should take note of it. We should celebrate."

Donations are being accepted at 10 locations across Charleston, including City Hall, the Charleston County Public Library on Calhoun Street and the Charleston Tennis Center.

Reach Amanda Coyne at 937-5592 or on Twitter at @AmandaCCoyne