Readifest organizers expecting big crowd
More than 700 people turned out in extreme heat last year to attend Readifest at College Park. This year¿s event is scheduled for Aug. 2 from 6-7:30 p.m. and organizers are expecting 500 students to get school supplies and backpacks. (Bob Flynnfirstname.lastname@example.org / July 20, 2012)
For the last 14 years, the event has helped provide school supplies to students who otherwise wouldn’t have them, and offer valuable information on professional services available for families from local agencies.
The event began as an effort to make it easier for parents with children in more than one school by having one event where they could get everything they needed in one place instead of having to go from school-to-school for open house events.
This year’s Readifest will be Thursday, Aug. 2, from 6-7:30 p.m., at College Park.
More than 30 vendors, including the Clark County Health Department, Kentucky River Foothills Development Council, Clark County Literacy Council, Clark Regional Medical Center and others, will be set up in the park and provide parents with information about their services.
Eva Miller, family resource director for Cental Elementary and Conkwright Middle schools, said the community has really embraced the event each year.
“We have to be the link for our families into the community. A lot of what our families are in need of throughout the year, we can’t meet without the other agencies, so it helps us and the families to make contact with those agencies, businesses and organizations so they can see what they offer,” Miller said. “One thing is for sure. Although this is sponsored by the family resource centers, with the number of student we reach each year with Readifest, we wouldn’t be able to pull it off without the support of the community.
The number of families showing up for Readifest has grown each year. Last year more than 700 people attended the event and Miller said the group is preparing for even more this year.
Miller said the families they serve appreciate everyone’s effort.
“This means a lot to these kids and the families. A lot of them have more than one or two children and when you have all those school supplies needed in one family, it really adds up,” Miller said. “The new school year often brings a new beginning, so this is giving the students an opportunity to start the new school year with the supplies they need, and they really do appreciate it.”
With Readifest just two weeks away, Miller said the group still needs some additional supplies for the backpacks they will be giving out, especially crayons, graph paper, college-ruled loose leaf notebook paper and single-subject spiral notebooks.
“We put out a call at the end of the school year for items and the community has been wonderful. We’ve received quit a bit, but we are still short on some items,” Miller said. “Anyone wishing to donate can drop off items at the George Rogers Clark High School youth service center by Friday, July 27. We hope to have all the items by then and that gives us a week to have all the backpacks ready for Readifest on Aug. 2.”
Cash donations are also accepted and volunteers to work at Readifest are also welcome, Miller said.
“We always need people to help manage crowd control and some people may need help getting around to the different vendors. So anyone interested in helping can call me at the FRC at 744-1369.”
For many years, people lined up for Readifest hours before it began, but Miller said organizers are asking people not to do that this year.
“Because of the heat we don’t encourage anybody to come too early. We don’t begin until 6 p.m. and we will have ample supplies so everyone will have an opportunity to receive something,” Miller said. “A lot of times people think the earlier they get there the better the chance of getting things. But we are planning to have something for everyone, so we want everyone to be cautious and aware of the heat because we won’t start until 6 p.m.”
Children receiving supplies at the park must be accompanied by a parent. Families that can not make it to College Park Aug. 2 can still receive some of the supplies. They will be available at the family resource center at the school the child attends by calling the FRC director.
Officials from Clark County Public Schools will be on hand to register children that have not already done so. Parents wishing to register thier child must bring their child’s birth certificate, Social Security card, proof of residence, immunization certificates and any medical and eye exam to do so.
For more information on Readifest, contact Miller at 744-1369.
Contact Bob Flynn at email@example.com.