LAUREL – Prince George’s County students are gearing up for another school year. Local residents were invited to Laurel’s fourth annual Back 2 School Jam, which took place at Granville Gude Park on Aug. 13. Mayor Craig Moe and the Laurel City Council joined the Laurel Board of Trade to help give back to the […]
LAUREL – Prince George’s County students are gearing up for another school year.
Local residents were invited to Laurel’s fourth annual Back 2 School Jam, which took place at Granville Gude Park on Aug. 13. Mayor Craig Moe and the Laurel City Council joined the Laurel Board of Trade to help give back to the community. Their efforts to gather the necessary resources gave families the support needed to ensure a successful academic year.
The process to put together such an event took approximately six months, said Chairman of the Laurel Board of Trade Matthew Coates.
“It’s not easy and it’s a lot of man hours that we put in to put this thing together, along with supportive sponsors, to help make this event what it is today,” Coates said.
Coates believed the hard work put forth by him and his colleagues was worth it in order to see families rejoice.
“That’s one of the things for me, is to see a kid smile when they get their school supplies and backpack,” he said. “As a college educated man, I push education so it’s very important that I reach out to these kids in the community to give them the right start.
“We have kids here that are in need and we want to make sure that as business owners we try to take care of that need for them. This is one of the reasons why we are out here today, out in this heat, trying to give out 1,000 bags of school supplies for the city of our residents.”
Providing more than just supplies, officials continuously work to improve student academic success rate.
“We try to work with our police department to put out safety messages to our residents to slow down because kids are going back to school,” said Moe. “The mayor and council meet quarterly with the principals to find out their needs and work with them to relay information that’s vital to them. We’re just out here doing what we do and a lot of it is just by word of mouth, making sure people know when school is going in and the different times.”
Each child received a free backpack full of school supplies such as pencils, pens, notebooks and markers. Parents and caregivers of young students expressed their gratitude and enjoyment for the event.
Christine Johnson, a mother of two, said the event also served as an outlet for her kids to socialize with their peers.
“It’s also a chance for the kids to come out, have some fun, and enjoy some of the activities that they have planned,” Johnson said.
Shante Taylor, who came out with her niece and nephew, also wanted to partake in the activities.
“It’s my first time coming because I have not been able to come in the last couple of years, so I told myself that I will try to come this time and I made it,” Taylor said.“I will try to come back as many times as I can because all the activities, people and the sponsors did a good job.”
When asked what else Laurel officials could do to better prepare students, Taylor said she believes they are already doing an effective job.
“I see that they’re doing as much as they can. I have no other suggestions on ways they can do better,” Taylor said.
More than $10,000 was spent on school supplies. In addition, 20 sponsors pitched in financially. Various vendors provided light refreshments and bounce houses were open for the younger children.
“There was a great article in the newspaper that said we were looking for financial supporters and folks stepped up we may not have seen and offered to contribute financially,” Coates said.
To find ways to become involved with Prince George’s County Schools visit, http://www1.pgcps.org/parents/.