Waynesboro Schools’ two-night event to connect families with resources and fun
By Rebecca J. Barnabi
For Augusta Free Press
WAYNESBORO — Waynesboro Schools’ Back to School Bash will combine fun and games with community resources and information for local students and their families before the 2021-2022 academic year begins in August.
From 1 to 6 p.m. on Sunday, July 25 and Sunday, August 1 at Kate Collins Middle School, students will have access to face painting, local community organizations, and resources necessary for them to begin the academic year.
“Our hope would be to create an event that removes the stresses and barriers that a family feels with the new school year,” said Waynesboro Schools Executive Director of Student Services Dr. Ryan Barber.
Students will have access to immunizations and physicals, opportunities to meet school staff, and families can request assistance with buying school supplies and new clothing.
“We’re really just trying to get students ready for the school year,” Barber said.
Both evenings are open to students in kindergarten through 12th grade.
Students will be able to get their hair cut for the next school year.
Members of clubs from Waynesboro High School will be available to provide information.
The Waynesboro YMCA and Waynesboro Boys & Girls Club will also be available to provide resources.
“Waynesboro Public Schools is excited to sponsor the Back to School Bash as the first step in engaging our students and families in the new school year,” said Waynesboro Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Cassell.
Cassell said the school system is appreciative of the support from community organizations and partners participating in the event, “in addition to the many employees of the school division who have worked hard to plan this event.”
Barber said that since accepting his role with Waynesboro Schools six years ago, he has wanted to hold such an event.
“The community response has been wonderful. I’m so proud to be here in Waynesboro,” he said.
He added that when a need is expressed in Waynesboro, the community steps up to meet that need.
According to Barber, Waynesboro Schools principals and staff, as well as volunteers and local organizations readily offered their support and assistance in making the Back to School Bash happen this year.
“Nearly everybody that I’ve shared this idea with has stepped up,” Barber said.
Both evenings will provide information, sharing of resources, and opportunities for families to have fun.
Some families in the Waynesboro community “are able to access all they need to get ready for school,” but some are not able to.
“So, we’ve always known that there are individuals and families in our community who struggle,” Barber said.
The start of a new academic year means the necessity to buy new supplies and clothing, complete forms and possibly get immunizations.
“This just provides an opportunity where they’re not going to have to stress about their child being ready for school,” Barber said.