As summer break comes to a close, the daunting task of affording school supplies for young students approaches. Luckily, two young women, Ailetha Turner and Carleeka Basnight, of St. Marys, are here to help.
The back to school festival, Rock the Books, is returning Saturday, Aug. 4, 2018, for its second year to help everyone that could use a hand in getting supplies. The festival will have food trucks/vendors, free face painting and games, DJ A-Rod of E93FM, bounce houses for $5, and of course free backpacks and school supplies.
The festival, focused on promoting literacy, will include a reading station for the kids to enjoy in the park as well.
Last year had an amazing turnout and is expected to be quite the kickoff this year. Turner stated that the program, “Started out with an idea, hope, and a prayer.” Both, Turner and Basnight, emphasized their hopes of the festival is to come together as a community to help one another.
Rock the Books received donations from many businesses and organizations including The United Way, Girl Scouts, Express Scripts, the Elks, and Dollar General.
Check-in registration will begin from 12 pm – 1:30 pm, preregistration for a backpack can be found on their website.
“You don’t have to come out to get a backpack, just come out,” Turner and Basnight said, “It’s worth it to see the smiles on the kid’s faces and the thankyous from the parents.”
Donations can be made online at heartofb.org, dropped off at The United Way, the Tribune & Georgian, Modern Woodmen, or you can contact Basnight directly, (912)322-8380, she will arrange pickup.
A site they suggested to purchase backpacks is bagsinbulk.com with item: 461820, 465306, 461922, 469736. $72 will get 24 bags, the coupon code: two, will give a discount. Donations can be sent to 178 Natures Dr., St. Marys GA 31559.
Volunteers are still needed for both the festival and the stuffing of the backpacks which will occur Friday Aug. 3, 2018, from 3pm-6pm at the Camden Rec Center.
Sponsors and vendors are also invited to help out as well. The vendor fee is $50, food truck fee $125.
Left over supplies will be used next year or donated to classrooms.