By Tia Lynn Ivey
School is still slated to reopen on Thursday, Aug. 6, despite the Back to School Rally being cancelled last week due to concerns over the coronavirus.
Organizers of the annual Back to School Rally, which distributes free backpacks and schools supplies to families every year, was cancelled last minute by the Morgan County Family Connection. This year more than 500 packsacks were purchased to give out to school students.
“With the recent increase in COVID-19 cases in Morgan (and surrounding counties) over the past couple of weeks as well as Governor Kemp’s press release urging all Georgians to practice social distancing over the next four weeks, out of the abundance of caution we have made the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Back to School Rally,” said Velde Hardy, coordinator for the Morgan County Family Connection.
“While this event was scheduled to be held as a drive through event, the amount of interaction required to register the parents and keep the traffic moving while distributing school supplies and resource bags are areas of concern,” explained Hardy. “The Governor’s press release also asks everyone to wear face coverings while in public and there is no way we can ensure the hundreds of families expected to attend this event will adhere to those requirements.”
White the Back to School Rally was cancelled over coronavirus concerns, school will resume on time, according to school officials.
“This decision to cancel this event was made by Morgan County Family Connections. While we support this wonderful program, we were not involved in this decision to cancel the Back to School Rally,” said Dr. Virgil Cole, superintendent of Morgan County Schools. “We feel that the successful and safe opening of our schools is very important and critical for our community. This will go a long way toward providing a sense of normalcy as we find a way to live with this virus until we can eradicate it. That said, we are following the latest guidance from the Department of Public Health, and we are in continuous communication with our local health officials. They all support and are positive of our efforts and plans to safely return to school.”
If you would like to donate school supplies for returning Morgan County students, you can schedule a time to drop them off at the Freshman Academy by contacting Dr. James Meneguzzo at James.firstname.lastname@example.org. Donations will be taken by appointment only.
Family Connection issued a statement thanking this year’s sponsors.
“Our heartfelt thanks to our 2020 Event Sponsors Amerigroup, CareSource and Ferst Readers of Morgan County for making it possible to purchase over 500 backpacks for students this year. Also, huge thanks to all of our community partners for all the supplies that have already been donated for this event,” said Hardy. “We thank you for your patience and understanding during this challenging time as we continue to balance the task of providing our families with the supplies they need while also keeping the health and safety of our families, partners and staff a top priority.”