County’s popular Back-to-School fair keeps growing, says organizers

By: Meredith Baker | Email: Click Here
Posted: November 7, 2018 | 12:30 p.m. 

PRINCE GEORGE – Hundreds of parents took advantage of the community’s annual Back-to-School Fair to collect both information and supplies for their students. 

At a recent school board meeting, Director of Social Services Shel Bolyard-Douglas provided an update to the school board on the results of the fair. She said that police estimated the event attracted at least 2,700 people. Bolyard-Douglas said that 756 students received free backpacks loaded with school supplies, and additional supplies were given to students at another event and to the schools. 

“Our agency collected voluntary donations and school supplies all summer to be able to give out free backpacks and school supplies at the fair,” Bolyard-Douglas said. 

Although the fair did not begin until 4:00 pm., Bolyard Douglas said the line for entry started forming at 1:30 pm. In addition to free school supplies, the fair included a family fun night and a community resource fair that drew over 50 vendors. Bolyard-Douglas said the goal is to help parents feel connected and understand what resources are available to them. 

“For me, the resource fair is really the most important piece of it,” Bolyard Douglas said.
Board Member Kevin Foster said one common theme he hears when parents talk about the fair is the variety of information available at the event. 

“It gets better every year,” Foster said. 

Bolyard-Douglas said she has no budget for the event, which is made possible by the generosity of the community. She thanked all of those who contributed to the event. 

“The John Randolph Foundation is our key contributor, but we also receive funding from Jessica Ann Moore Foundation, the Women’s Club of Prince George, members of the Rotary Club of Prince George, our business community, and numerous citizens and churches throughout the county,” Bolyard-Douglas said.  

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