Back to School Connect returns Wednesday, Aug. 27 and is shaping up to be bigger and better than last year.
Response in 2013 to the event, which offers free school supplies and connects parents and children with a variety of resources, was overwhelming.
“The families were so grateful,” Fort Macleod Kids First Family Centre executive director Susan Simpson said. “We had people in tears. Mothers in tears because they were able to outfit their kids for school.”
The event last year attracted more than 500 people.
Back to School Connect runs from 4-8 p.m. Aug. 27 at the Fort Macleod and District Community Hall.
Back to School Connect is focused on making Fort Macleod a strong community by bringing people from across the community together for a good time.
Free school supplies will help children get ready for the start of the new term at W.A. Day and F.P. Walshe schools.
Parents can learn about the many services and resources available to families in Fort Macleod.
Organizers have arranged for a wide variety of professionals to attend Back to School Connect.
Dentists and optometrists will be on hand to do examinations and hairdressers will provide “back to school” trims.
A dietitian will be present and Alberta Health Services staff will attend to discuss topics such as immunization, addictions services, mental health and home visitation.
Fort Macleod Affordable Housing Coalition’s housing support worker Nicole Jackson will be present.
Groups such as Parents As Teachers, Global Training, Triple P Parenting, Fort Macleod Preschool, Project Read, Fort Macleod Community Garden, McMann Youth Services, Fort Macleod Food Matters, the Norlien Foundations and Money Matters will be represented.
Nathan Cross from Alberta’s Promise will attend to promote that organization.
Fort Macleod organizations will be on hand with information and to accept registration, including Minor Hockey, Cindy Gray’s Dancers and Legacy Tae Kwon Do.
Representatives from the Jumpstart program, which provides recreation subsidies for children, will also attend.
Stockman’s Grill will provide free wraps and yogurt.
While plans are coming together, help is still needed in the form of donations for the clothing exchange.
“We’re definitely short on winter coats and jackets for kids,” Simpson said.
Kids First is also short of clothing for children aged 10 to 13 years.
Phone Kids First at 403-553-5354 to arrange to drop off clothing donations.