The annual “Back To School – Stay In School Explosion” was a success, said Jerome Wyche of the Madison Prevention Coalition. “It was excellent,” he added.
With over 20 presenters, 35 volunteers, numerous community supporters and other supporters who came from as far away as Lake City, Tallahassee, Perry and even Jacksonville, the event drew hundreds of people, serving an estimated 1100 students and parents with free school supplies and information to help get the children school-ready.
The Back-To-School event, which has grown every year, is a monumental undertaking. Just a few days earlier, Wyche had spoken to the Madison Rotary Club to talk about the upcoming event, explaining that with a great new hospital just opening up, a great school system was the other part of the equation needed for attracting new businesses to the area.
However, in small rural communities like Madison County, which has been noted as one of the areas of persistent poverty several years in a row by the state of Florida, the Madison Coalition realized that many families couldn’t afford the school supplies their children needed each year.
“We don’t worry about who they are,” he said. “All kids can come and get free school supplies.” The coalition focuses on the basics – the things that the children need at their desks – in order to be prepared for the upcoming school year.
For months, businesses, organizations, clubs and community members had been donating supplies or money toward the Aug. 9 event, and three days earlier, over two dozen volunteers…TO CONTINUE READING THIS STORY CLICK HERE OR PICK UP A COPY OF THE AUGUST 15, 2014 EDITION OF THE MADISON ENTERPRISE-RECORDER…