As education funding continues to be cut, Bea Jackson wants Newton County parents and children to know that their community is still firmly behind them. She hopes to send that message by hosting the fourth annual Back 2 School Block Party, Aug. 1, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on the square.
"We believe it’s so important to bring the community together. We want to say to our kids, ‘We support you and wish you every success in your endeavors,’" said Jackson, executive director of Washington Street Community Center.
To show that support, WSCC along with Back 2 School co-sponsor Main Street Covington are preparing to give away 1,000 bags worth of school supplies to children in grades K-8.
Jackson said the organizations are still in need of donations of money and school supplies for all grades. For more information about what specific items are needed, contact WSCC at (770) 786-4002 or Main Street at (770) 385-2077. Donations can be dropped off at WSCC, at 4138 School Street, Covington. The deadline to drop-off donations is July 26.
She said that every year the BOE gives students a list of required school supplies and the Back 2 School party seeks to cover that cost for parents.
"It’s even more important than ever given the economic time," she said.
Jackson said her staff estimated that the cost of school supplies ranges from about $5 for early grades up to $7.50 for middle grade students.
While the supplies are being donated by residents and a variety of community organizations, the 1,000 bags were being donated by Michelin Tread Technologies of Covington.
"We want to thank them for the wonderful, souvenir bags they donated to the cause," she said.
As in previous years, the annual block party will offer plenty of entertainment, including several interactive, educational booths set up by community sponsor, touching on issues like the environment. In addition, area high school sports teams, parent-teacher organizations and churches will be participating. The details are still being worked out. Any organization that wishes to be a partner can contact WSCC or Main Street; a partner meeting is being held July 23 at noon at WSCC.