LUMBERTON — The boxes of school supplies are rolling in as the Public Schools of Robeson County prepares for its largest event of the year. On Thursday, the school district will host a Back-to-School Celebration. The event, which tries to prepare students for school, is expected to bring out more than 20,000 parents, students and volunteers to the Southeastern Agricultural Events Center in Lumberton.
“It is an opportunity for parents to come out and talk with their school principals, some teachers, the superintendent, assistant superintendents, central office staff, as well as school staff to discuss any concerns while collecting school and parent supplies that will help them throughout the year,” said Amy S. Haigler, parent coordinator with the Public Schools of Robeson County.
At the event, students will receive a mesh book bag, paper and various school items. One free item for parents is a homework dictionary. Haigler says getting ready for school can be labor- and cost-ntensive for parents. The Public Schools of Robeson County requires students to have a mesh school bag. The parent coordinator said parents sometimes have a difficult time finding the bags and they can be expensive. Haigler says the celebration eliminates one of the high price items in their children’s back to school requirements.
“This celebration began in part because of the economics of the parents and students throughout the district and the rising cost of school supplies as parents try to get students ready for the up and coming year. We discussed those issues with the superintendent, board members and assistant superintendents and it led us to this idea to help,” said Haigler.
Each school will have a booth at the celebration, giving parents the opportunity to pick up school requirement information. Translators will be on hand for families.
With more than 20,000 people expected, the event requires a tremendous amount of coordination and the support of hundreds of volunteers and sponsors. This year, sponsors donated televisions, I-pads, paper, pencils, notebooks, tablets, gift cards and more. For the first time, the event will also include a raffle. More than 100 volunteers from the Public Schools of Robeson County’s central office as well as community volunteers will work shifts to keep things running smoothly.
To handle such a large group, coordinators have divided the Agriculture Events Center into east and west zones. The east zone contains booths for schools in the Lumberton, St. Pauls and Fairmont communities. The west zone of the building includes schools in the Red Springs, Rowland, Pembroke, Maxton and Prospect communities.
The celebration runs from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. to allow working parents to visit. Students who are out of town or whose parents are unable to attend are allowed to pick up their items at their school at a time designated by the principal. Snacks will be provided.
For information, contact Haigler at 910-735-2190.
Tasha Oxendine is the public information officer for the Public Schools of Robeson County.