By Tia Lynn Lecorchick
The annual Back to School Bookbag Drive, held on August 2 and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, was a huge success this year, according to Velde Hardy, coordinator for Morgan County Family Connection.
Nearly 250 students showed up to receive free school supplies before the first day of school. Hardy described the turnout as an “overwhelming response.” “The turnout speaks volumes regarding the need for this continued community effort,” said Hardy. “Family Connection would like to extend a huge thank you to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office for allowing the back to school supply distribution to be held at their location this year.
The set up allowed for seamless distribution efforts and students even had the opportunity to explore some of the patrol vehicles.” Assistance with school supplies is a vital need for parents struggling to provide for their children.
According to KIDS Count data, 49.6 percent of the students in Morgan County are eligible to receive free or reduced priced lunch meals as of 2013, 23.5 percent of children in Morgan live in poverty as of 2012, and 50 percent of children from low- income families enrolled in the Georgia Pre-K program in 2012.
Hardy explained how this annual event “is the one major event that brings together all sectors of the community to help the children in our county become prepared to start the school year successfully.
Each year the event continues to grow and touch the lives of more youth and families.” Hardy attributed the event’s success to the community’s “willingness to come together to rally around an important cause and make a difference.” Hardy noted that the community went all out this year to ensure the children of Morgan County had the supplies they needed to start the school year off right. “This year because of the generosity of the Morgan County community and our various partners, who dropped off their supplies, children who attended were able to receive a generous amount of materials,” said Hardy.
Sarah Burbach, interim superintendent, was pleased with the work of the Back To School Rally. “As always, our local merchants, civic clubs, and churches join with Family Connection and Morgan Memorial Hospital to support our students. The school system is so grateful for the attention and support given to us by these important groups, especially as we celebrate a new school year.”
Exhibitors and partners participating in this year’s event included: the Department of Juvenile Justice, Family Smile Center of Madison, LOA Chapter of the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc, Morgan County First Steps Program, Morgan County Health Department, Morgan Memorial Hospital, Morgan System of Care, and Wal-Mart Vision Center.
“Thanks to Madison Realty, Inc, Pathways Transition Programs, Plainview Baptist Church and Pro-Care Cleaners for partnering with us during our 2014 Backpack Drive. As a result, 32 students were able to receive brand new back packs! In addition, as a