Postcards were sent out earlier in the summer to remind students of the event. The message reminded parents of the need for registration while offering the promise of school supplies and free food. A long line of parents and children wrapped around the building proved the effectiveness of the school’s communication.
Assistant Principal Prisavia Croft said Thursday night’s registration celebration was the largest turnout in three years.
“The kids are excited to be here,” Croft said. “They came through the doors with hugs and high fives.”
Students were directed to find their homeroom teachers before parents filled out required forms. Both parents and children were then directed to the PTO table. There they were informed of how they could get involved with the school. They also received tickets for a bag full of school supplies and food.
South Cleveland Church of God senior pastor Chris Moody said the area surrounding Blythe-Bower is known to be one of the most needy communities in Cleveland. He and his congregation wanted to lend a helping hand.
He explained Blythe-Bower’s newly appointed principal, Joel Barnes, is a deacon at South Cleveland. The church approached Barnes about helping out. A brainstorming session led to a partnership for the registration celebration.
South Cleveland office manager Kim Smith said 20 volunteers helped pack the school supplies bags with some of the items the children would need, including Clorox wipes, crayons, papers, pencils and glue.
Associate pastor Kenneth Bowers said it was not difficult to get volunteers for the project.
“Our goal is just to reach out to these children, to reach out to these families at this school,” Bowers said. “We know this is a time of year that is hard for families, and we just wanted to be a part of getting them back in school.”
Smith said the church wanted to help out the families financially through the school supplies. Many families, especially those with students on free and reduced lunches, find it difficult to meet the back-to-school demands.
“We wanted them to know there are people who care for them,” Bowers said. “Not for any other reason than for them to know there are people who care.”
Both partners plan to continue to work together in the future.