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Back 2 School Summit offers school supplies, fun for students

Shanta Harris was eating lunch with her daughter at McDonald’s when she learned about the Back 2 School Summit that was under way Saturday at the Wilson Recreation Center.

When she arrived, she was able to pick up school supplies that will help her daughter, Nyzaya, during kindergarten this year.

“I just heard about this,” Harris said. “I think it’s a very good idea and it is very helpful, especially to single parents. It’s a positive opportunity for kids to come out and do something before school starts.”

Parents and children started lining up outside at 10:30 a.m. for the event that started at noon. Hundreds of parents and children attended the summit that offered the first 200 children backpacks stocked full of school supplies. More than 400 more bags were given out during the day that also offered school supplies, said Angie Hall, founder of The Hall Foundation, a nonprofit in its fourth year of having the summit in Wilson.

“They were lined up here at 10:30 a.m.,” Hall said. “We had a really good turnout. I do it every year. My goal is to reach as many kids as possible to make sure they have the supplies they need.”

Children were given all the basic supplies needed in the classroom, including notebooks, folders, binders, paper, pencils, pens, crayons, glue sticks and other miscellaneous items. Harris looked in her daughter’s bag and said the supplies will meet all of her needs this year.

There were a variety of games, several bounce houses, face painting, hula hoop and children played basketball in the gymnasium. Everyone who wanted a chicken dinner plate or hot dog with chips was fed, with all the food donated by Roy Spells Community Outreach, Hall said.

Children were also able to get snow cones and popcorn. The entire event was supported through donations and volunteer help.

“Everyone donated everything,” Hall said. “This is community support. I could not do this without my community.”

The Hall Foundation, a nonprofit, has held the summit each year at different locations, including the skating rink, the Wilson Mall and The Spot in previous years. Hall, who was hugged often Saturday afternoon, said she spends most of the year taking in donations and gathering school supplies for the event.

“It’s just something I love to do,” she said. | 265-7818
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