Prince George gears up for annual Back-to-School fair

By: Sherry Williams Kidd | Twitter: @PGJournal
Posted: August 15, 2019 | 12:30 p.m.

PRINCE GEORGE – Prince George County’s Department of Social Services is once again partnering with the local school division, churches, and community organizations to host one of the most fun and festive activities of the entire summer, their annual Back to School Fair. The immensely-popular event signals the end of summer, the beginning of another school year, and provides children with a beautiful new backpack, that the kids are allowed to choose themselves that is packed full of school supplies they will need, tailored to their grade level.

Families and their children will be treated to a free family fun night at Scott Memorial Park on Thursday, August 22nd, from 4 to 7 p.m. The family-friendly entertainment is provided at no cost for the evening and will include kid-favorites such as music, bouncy houses, children’s games, exploration of emergency vehicles, exploring a school bus for new students and parents, free haircuts, great food, and more. 

This year’s event will also include a resource fair, with local and regional organizations setting up informational tables to provide families with resources, activities, and opportunities. Last year, there were approximately 2,500 participants, and over 650 backpacks filled with school supplies were given out to Prince George students.

Prince George Social Services is in need of and accepting monetary donations and school supplies all summer to be distributed free to Prince George school children. The Back to School Fair is also looking for donations of food supplies for the event to keep the event totally free to the children and families who participate. 

“The goal of the Fair is not just to provide school supplies but to strengthen families by reminding them of the activities and resources Prince George has in their community available to help support those who need it,” officials with the county’s social services office shared. 

For information on how you or your organization can contribute food, prizes, or school supplies for the fair, call Prince George Social Services at (804) 733-2650. Monetary contributions may be sent to Prince George County Social Services, Back to School Fair, PO Box 68, 6450 Administration Drive, Prince George, Virginia 23875.

“The Back to School Fair is also a great place for families to come to have that last blast of summer fun together before life gets a little more hectic during the school year,” remarked Shel Douglas, Director of Prince George Social Services.

The fair is open to all county residents. School supplies will be available for Prince George students, and the student must be present to receive the supplies. The Prince George County Annual Back to School Fair was recognized in 2019 by the National Association of Counties as a 2019 Achievement Award winner for inspiring programs.

“A significant second benefit to hosting the Back to School Fair is how it has become a community event,” said Percy Ashcraft, Prince George County Administrator. “Numerous organizations, both public and private, are on the scene to interact with the crowd and have their own hand-outs for both children and adults. There is also food, games, and demonstrations. One popular demonstration is giving very young kids their first opportunity to step onto a school bus and help them understand what to do when they get on or off of that bus. That helps to ease the anxiety on those first few days of school.”

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