Officials Kick-Off the Back-to-School Community Experience

By: Office of the Mayor Release Email
By: Office of the Mayor Release Email

Tallahassee, Florida- August 16, 2012

Dear Parents: Big year for your kids coming up. There’s the stuff they’ll need for spelling, math, science and more. Never fear though – at this Saturday’s 2012 Back-to-School Community Experience you and the whole family can have some fun and pick up some much needed supplies. Join Mayor John Marks, Rev. O. Jermaine Simmons and a variety of community partners from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, August 18, at the North Florida Fairgrounds, to take part in this new school year celebration!

Now in its sixth year, this annual event brings families, teachers and community leaders together in celebration of the upcoming 2012-2013 school year, while providing to students the resources needed to excel in and out of the classroom. The event’s title sponsor, Wal-Mart, has donated over $10,000 of school supplies to be distributed to Leon County students.

“With the high cost of school supplies, clothes and other necessities, many local families are struggling to provide their children with everything they need to do well in school,” Tallahassee Mayor John Marks said. “Those who attend this Saturday’s event will enjoy the music, entertainment and food, but more importantly, every student will leave better prepared for the upcoming school year thanks to the generosity of local businesses, churches and non-profits.”

Last year, dozens of volunteers distributed over 3,000 grade level specific bags of school supplies, cut and braided the hair of hundreds of students, and provided other services – all free of charge. Nearly 6,000 individuals attended last year’s event. For 2012, event planners hope to distribute nearly 4,000 bags of school supplies and have further expanded the amenities offered to attendees.

“This partnership has continued to thrive as an outreach to the community. For the church, it is our responsibility to at the very least, lighten the load for families as they prepare for this academic year,” Rev. O. Jermaine Simmons said. “With God's help and the cooperative spirit of so many, that goal has been reached.”

Prior to the summer break, students who receive free and reduced lunches at select Title I schools were provided with a certificate that will be redeemable for free school supplies during Saturday’s event. The selected Title I schools are:

Bond Elementary
Sabal Palm Elementary
Oakridge Elementary
Riley Elementary
Nims Middle
Steele Collins Middle
Godby High

Any remaining school supplies will be distributed to Leon County students, regardless of the school they attend, on a first come, first served basis.

“We must continue to focus on our youth, because they are indeed our future. The school supplies, food and entertainment is just what our students need to get them amped up for the 2012-2013 school year,” Principal Regina Browning said.

Admission is free and open to the public. All supplies, services and activities are free of charge.
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Tallahassee, Florida - August 16, 2012 -

The new school year is rapidly approaching. Teachers are prepping their classrooms. Parents are readying their kids, and the community is stepping up to help ensure each Leon County student is prepared for a successful year. Mayor John Marks, Reverend O. Jermaine Simmons and area sponsors and partners will officially announce the 2012 Back-to-School Community Experience and kick off the outreach by distributing supplies to students at Bond Elementary this Thursday, August 16.

The Back-to-School Community Experience will take place on Saturday, August 18, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the North Florida Fairgrounds. The event's title sponsor, Wal-Mart, has donated over $10,000 of school supplies to be distributed to Leon County students.


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