Lending a helping hand was a big part of back-to-school activities in various parts of the Twin Cities on Tuesday. In St. Paul, Superintendent Valeria Silva greeted students at the American Indian Magnet School and, in the process, helped remind them which buses to take home.

At Augsburg College in Minneapolis, where classes start Wednesday, more than 500 students, faculty, staff and administrators fanned out to do service projects as part of Augsburg’s 15th annual City Service Day. First-year Auggies helped clean up around the Cedar-Riverside area, played with schoolchildren and got a taste of the activity at Stones Throw Urban Farm.

Guled Ali, a freshman biology major at Augsburg, drove a pitchfork into compost for separation.

Silva marked the hands of students with letters denoting bus routes. 3M volunteers also went through the East Side school donating supplies.