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Students, teachers gear up for new school year

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(WSIL) -- Students and teachers are gearing up to get back to school and local organizations are stepping up to help them clear their shopping list.

A Back-To-Teach Bash aimed at helping educators took place at two locations Saturday including Evergreen Park in Carbondale and Marion's Ray Fosse Park. Several stopped by to pick up donated paper towels, crayons, wipes, markers and other classroom essentials.

Carbondale Women's Center helped organize the event, volunteer Nancy Maxwell says often, teachers spend their own money on supplies for the classroom, they wanted to help cut that cost.

"They were so excited that somebody was out here actually doing something for them today," says Maxwell. "We didn't want to keep re-inventing the wheel; there are numerous back-to-school bashes, we wanted to do something different and still help out at the same time."

Teachers who missed out, can stop by either Man-Tra-Con in Marion or the Women's Center in Carbondale where remaining supplies and additional donations are available.

Franklin-Williamson Positive Youth Development Back-to-School Event

Hundreds of students are now ready and prepared for the start of the school year after attending a "one-stop shop" giveaway in Marion at the Oasis.

Free hair cuts, check ups, physicals, dental care and eye exams were just some of the services provided Saturday. A thousand back packs, filled with school supplies were also given away.

Positive Youth Development Action Team member Brittney Hale says it is a way to show the community they care about local parents and their children.

"We want to make sure that our families know we're here for you," says Hale. "We're going to give you exactly what you need to gear up for this school year. So I'm hoping when they leave here, they feel surrounded by love and support and compassion and are ready for the new school year."

Those who came out received free food and clothing vouchers. First responder were also on scene with a helicopter, fire engine and police car for kids to view.

Joe Rehana

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