KINGSTON TWP. – A Back to School Bash on Aug. 4 brought families to the Shavertown United Methodist Church to help prepare young attendees for the school year.
In addition, the event also provided a chance to make memories with a variety of food, crafts and games, providing the perfect environment for an “almost-end-of-summer” gathering.
Sandy Michalisin, church missions and outreach volunteer coordinator, took time to listen to students as they described their specific needs for supplies.
Some needed binders, some folders, some pencils, some pens and others crayons.
Michalisin and other volunteers, who utilize district websites to prepare for the event, made sure backpacks given to the children were filled with those specific items needed for the school year.
To Michalisin, it’s far more than providing tangible necessities to children; it’s easing a family’s anxiety over whether their children will have what they need for academic success this year and encouraging young students’ enthusiasm in regard to their studies.
Ann Lynn Smith, who just returned to the area from North Carolina last week, has five school-age children and saw an announcement of the event as she was driving into town.
Smith said she was happy her children, ages 13, 11, 9, 7 and 5, would be able to start the school year with brand new backpacks and school supplies, especially because it will be their first year in the Dallas School District.
Smith said not only were her children able to obtain much-needed items, she was able to meet other parents who provided her with necessary information.
“I didn’t know what type of backpacks were required,” she said. “The event was a great resource for me.”
Pastor Judy Walker was on hand to greet attendees and to lend a hand at the craft tent.
“Even the crafts are school-themed,” she said, showing off a giant magnetic clothes pin for display school work on a family refrigerator and a handmade blackboard for keeping track of homework or activities.
Volunteer Cathy Nicks said, although most young attendees were in elementary school, younger middle school students also enjoyed the event, especially getting a brand new backpack.
“Backpacks are a really expensive item,” said Walker. “We’re very happy that we can provide them to the children.”
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