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Jennifer Hudson In Chicago: Oscar Winner Returns To Hometown To Distribute School Supplies

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Academy Award-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson returned to Chicago Tuesday morning to honor the memory of her late nephew Julian King by giving away school supplies to 5,000 low-income schoolchildren.

Hudson and her sister Julia are hosting the second annual Hatch Day celebration in partnership with the Salvation Army at the Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center on the city's South Side, Fox Chicago reports.

Tuesday would have been Julian's eleventh birthday, according to CBS Chicago. Julian formerly distributed invitations for family and friends for his own "Hatch Day" celebration each year. The idea behind the day, Hudson previously explained, is that children's dreams "hatch" at this time this year.

"To this day we don’t know how he came up with the name, but now it does have a meaning: It’s a day spent in his honor doing something he would have loved," Hudson wrote in a Chicago Sun-Times "Daily Splash" column last month.

Classes began Monday morning for almost one-third of Chicago Public Schools students -- those attending the district's "Track E" schools. Classes at the district's remaining schools begin Sept. 4.

Julian -- as well as Hudson's mother Darnell Donerson and brother Jason Hudson -- was murdered on the morning of Oct. 24, 2008. William Balfour, Hudson's brother-in-law, was convicted in May of first-degree murder in the slayings and sentenced to life in prison in July.

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