NORFOLK — Following the success of last year’s inaugural Ready 4 School event in the Massena Central School District, several other schools have planned similar events for their districts this year.
Massena’s Ready 4 School event, held in August 2018 and organized by Kristin Colarusso-Martin, the district’s Community Schools coordinator, was designed to ensure students from pre-kindergarten through Grade 12 were ready for the start of school. There were free haircuts, free school supplies, free bicycle helmets and tune-ups, free clothes, and activities, information and resources from a number of community partners
This year’s event is scheduled for 2 to 6 p.m. Aug. 26. There will once again be free haircuts, free school supplies and free clothes for students, as well as bicycle tune-ups, children’s bicycle helmets and information on bicycle safety. Community partners — the Massena Police Department, Horizons, the Massena Public Library and others — will have educational tables with information and resources.
Among the other districts joining in with a similar event is the Norwood-Norfolk Central School District. Their NNCS Flyers Back2School Celebration is scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. Aug. 28 in the high school cafeteria. It’s being organized by Wendy Chambers and the Community Lunch Program for Kids. The People Project is also involved.
“We really want to celebrate the beginning of school. We saw that (in Massena) and recognized it. Now we’re doing our own,” Superintendent James Cruikshank said.
Norwood-Norfolk’s event will include free back-to-school haircuts; gently used clothing and books; free hot dogs, chips, beverages, popcorn, slushies and cotton candy; entertainment; fire departments from Norwood and Norfolk; the New York State Police K-9 Unit; and the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department, who will be making child identification cards.
There will also be informational booths, including sign-ups for the Norwood Head Start program; representatives from the Norwood and Norfolk public libraries, St. Lawrence County Transportation, St. Lawrence County Prenatal and Perinatal Council, St. Lawrence County Health Initiative, Norfolk-Raymondville Food Pantry and the Community Lunch Program for Kids.
In addition, the St. Lawrence Traffic Safety Council will have information on bicycle safety and a limited number of free bicycle helmets. There will also be an immunization clinic, and parents or guardians can sign up for the free or reduced breakfast and lunch program.
“It’s a large space. We’re going to have quite a bit set up back there. We’ll have a lot of information. There will be tons of informational booths for parents. We have access to resources and these resources are going to be here for the families,” Mr. Cruikshank said.
The event is being made possible by more than 70 sponsors, with the list continuing to grow.
“I so appreciate Wendy Chambers and all of her work on this. There’s many people involved. It’s going to be a fantastic event. We hope people will take advantage of it,” he said.
Other participating schools include Ogdensburg (5:30 to 8 p.m. Aug. 20), Madrid-Waddington (Aug. 23) and Edwards-Knox (2 to 5 p.m. Aug. 29).