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Event helps Fort Macleod connect with school supplies

cynthia chisholm

Cynthia Chisholm

A Fort Macleod event helps parents and children connect with school supplies, clothes and agencies.
Back to School Connect is from 5-7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21 at the Fort Macleod and District Sports Centre.
“It’s to support families with school-aged children,” Fort Macleod Kids First Family Centre co-ordinator Cynthia Chisholm said. “It’s also to connect families to community resources.”
Now in its seventh year, Back to School Connect makes school supplies available free of charge to supplement a family’s needs for the coming year.
Items such as pencils, binders, duotangs, erasers and pens will be handed out by the community agencies that have booths at Back to School Connect.
The agencies will have displays and literature to hand out so parents are better informed about resources that might benefit their children.
Organizers would welcome the assistance of volunteers during Back to School Connect.
“We can always use help,” Chisholm said. “If anybody has some time and wants to help out we can always use more people.”
“We do have a team of dedicated people.”
One of those dedicated people is Rose Matlock, who spearheads a team of volunteers to co-ordinate the free clothing component of Back to School Connect.
Donations of gently used clothing are accepted throughout the year to be available for families to pick up, free of charge.
Any clothing that remains after Back to School Connect will be passed on to the Raymond Parent Link Centre.
Professionals from Fort Macleod will attend Back to School Connect to provide free dental check-ups and eye exams.
Hairdressers from Fort Macleod also volunteer their services at Back to School Connect to provide free trims.
Organizations that offer programs and activities for young people have been invited to attend to accept registrations or simply provide information.
Back to School Connect also serves as a community gathering as people reconnect and visit, forging stronger relationships.
“It’s a community social event that fulfilss several needs,” Chisholm said. “It’s the community connections, it’s the clothing drive and it’s also the supplement of the school supplies, and it’s a social event.”
Last year more than 600 people turned out for Back to School Connect.
“For us it’s an event that families look forward to, it’s well attended and very well supported by the community which says to me, it’s very much needed,” Chisholm said. “We’ve had families contact us and ask if we’re running it again this year.”
For information about Back to School Connect or to get involved, phone Kids First at 587-787-1071.