The Madison County Prevention Coalition and its partners, under the umbrella of Health Promotion Program Initiative (HPPI), have committed to hosting a countywide “Back to School Explosion” event for the 2014-2015 school year. The “Back to School Explosion” is sponsored by a long list of community partners and is designed to reach students, parents, guardians, teachers and citizens in an atmosphere focused on preparation for the new school year and establishing a student mindset of success and achievement. In addition to free school supplies, the event also provides information about health related resources, educational opportunities and advancements, as well as other services designed to get the school year started off in a positive fashion.
The Coalition is working hard to secure enough donations to provide free school supplies to all students from pre-Kindergarten through high school; Superintendent Doug Brown and his staff provided lists of basic supplies for students at all levels. Hosting such an event is an uphill climb, but everyone is excited and expects the event to produce the success of previous years. The Coalition has enlisted partnerships with organizations, businesses, county and city officials, churches and citizens, to join this effort with all students in the Madison County School District. This is our community’s special way of showing that we care.
This “Back to School…Stay in School” event will be held at the Fitness Center and grounds of North Florida Community College on Saturday, August 9, beginning at 10 a.m. and ending at 2 p.m. The Madison County Department of Health will have their Whole Child Express mobile unit on site to provide information to parents and assist students in meeting school health requirements. The health department will also be open during the event to administer immunizations to students. Tobacco Free Madison and Students Working Against Tobacco (SWAT) will promote the policy to restrict the sale of tobacco-flavored products not covered by the FDA by conducting a skit during the assembly. The skit will be used to educate the community and youth on the established resolution against the sale of flavored tobacco in Madison County. The skit will also demonstrate how big tobacco companies target youth and young adults by the addition of candy flavored tobacco products. The fact is that nine out of 10 tobacco users started using tobacco before age 18. SWAT students will also have a tobacco prevention booth that will promote the policy.
Superintendent Doug Brown, principals from all schools, along with other faculty and staff will be on site to greet parents and students. A variety of other information booths, social service providers, businesses and agencies will also be present and accessible to meet the needs of parents and students.
The Madison County Prevention Coalition has established an account for monetary donations, with the Madison County Chamber of Commerce acting as the central collection agency for all donations. Please make your check payable to HPPI – Madison, and drop it off at the Chamber office located at 248 SW Range Avenue, Madison, Fl. 32340. Donors will receive a receipt for their donations and the Chamber of Commerce will maintain a list of persons making donations. A Coalition team will then purchase the school supplies from local stores and the surrounding areas.
The cut-off date to make donations is July 31; this date is crucial in the planning process, as the extended list of school supplies must be pre-ordered. Citizens may also choose to volunteer their services for what will be several very busy days leading up to event day.
The Madison County School District has agreed to provide bus transportation to and from the event from Greenville, Pinetta and Lee, for students only. Because of the liability, parents and guardians are not permitted to ride on transportation provided by the Madison County School District. The pick-up points, times and locations are as follows:
The pick-up point for Lee students will be the Old Lee Elementary School beginning at 8 a.m. and returning at 2 p.m.
The pick-up point for Greenville students will be Greenville Elementary School beginning at 8 a.m. and returning at 2 a.m.
The pick-point for Pinetta students will be Pinetta Elementary School beginning at 8 a.m., followed by a pick-up point at the Cherry Lake crossroads at 8:30 a.m. with return times at 2 p.m.
A parent or guardian is encouraged to be in attendance, however, in order to facilitate a smooth process. Because this event is centered on our youth, no student will be turned away. Adult attendees should consider bringing chairs for personal comfort, as there will be some outside activities.
If you would like to volunteer some of your time on event day or require further information, please contact Jerome Wyche, Local Community Organizer at (850) 464-0196, or Octavious Tookes, Co-Chair for Community Organizing at (850) 673-9116.
Together, we can have a tremendous impact by helping our students get ready for the 2014-2015 school year.