Back To School Event Draws Hundreds
Hundreds of boxes of grade specific school supplies are ready to be handed out – photo 250News
Prince George, B.C. – The line up outside the Prince George Native Friendship Centre started at 9 this morning, and when the day is through more than 700 students will be outfitted to head back to class.
This is the third year the Native Friendship Centre has offered the free event which provides students with back packs, school supplies, hair cuts and clothing to prepare students for the new school year.
This year, the event is being held outdoors, complete with bouncy castles and a photo booth . The decision to move the event outdoors was an easy one says Friendship Centre Executive Director Barb Ward-Burkitt “Doing it inside the building gets crazy when you get 700 people in there.”
Ward-Burkitt says 400 people pre-registered for back packs, “That pre-registration ended at the end of July but we’ve been getting phone calls, so we think there’s going to be about 750 backpacks distributed.”
This year, the event has different ‘stations’ which are broken down to specific grades. Hundreds of boxes are organized by grade, and each box contains the supplies needed specific to that grade. ( at right, a box filled with supplies for a grade four student)
Funding for the project comes from a number of sources says Ward-Burkitt “We get $10 thousand dollars worth of funding from RBC through their Royal Eagle Back pack program, then we’ve got lots of contributions from businesses in Prince George in the form of donations, like all the water was donated, all the fruit was donated the hair dressers donate their services as well. The SmokeHouse catering and Hospitality program donates all the food. So it’s from a number of different sources, and Gaming, our Gaming grant contributes some as well.”
Today’s event is expected to be the largest back to school event the Native Friendship Centre has presented says Ward-Burkitt, “Our first year, I think we did about 250, last year we had about 4 to five hundred and this year we are expecting the largest.”
She says no child will go away empty handed “We want to be in a situation where we are not turning people away.”