The line started forming more than an hour and a half before the doors opened Monday for the second annual Back to School BASH. The line started at the high school cafeteria entrance and stretched around the high school building and almost to the street. Every parking place at the school and the junior high was filled. And more came.
The Back to School BASH was a cooperative effort of area merchants, the United Way of Northwest Louisiana, the school board and many others. The idea was to provide school supplies to children who need them and to make sure family economics did not stand in the way of children being properly equipped to complete their schoolwork.
The crowd was large and orderly and each child was signed in by a parent in the cafeteria. From there they went to the junior high gym to visit the many vendors at the event. Children and parents found a big stack of hotdogs courtesy of Rivertown Market.
The vendors present had gifts and information. They were United Way, Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library, the MLK Health Center HEART Program, Gingerbread House, Red River 4-H, Louisiana Healthcare Connection, Pine Belt Multi-Purpose Agency, and Red River Transit and the Council on Aging. The parish health unit was there to update children’s immunization records.
Next it was on to the high school gym where backpacks were given out. There were size appropriate backpacks already stuffed with the school supplies children in each grade would need this year. Children had several colors and styles of backpacks to select from. While in the gym, kids could get a fresh haircut at no cost just in time for school starting next week.
The Journal observed the process was much more orderly than last year, and it assured that the school supplies went to Red River students. Pre-packing the backpacks simplified the distribution process and kept everything together. The sign in process coupled with children being required to visit vendors for a validation of their card assured that valuable information and sign-up opportunities were not missed by parent or child. And parents got to meet and talk with their child’s teachers somewhere along the line.