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Back to school bash

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 9:31 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KJCT) - This week, multiple nonprofit organizations are putting on a back to school bash at various schools around Mesa County. The back to school fair features school supply giveaways, educational booths, and games for kids.

The back to school bash will be held every day from 11:30-6 at a different school location every day this week. Today, Monday July 19, was the first day and it was held at Redlands middle school.

“Today we’re doing a back to school bash where each kid that attends will get a backpack and inside the backpack is school supplies like binders, notepads, anything that they will need for school,” said Mesa County Public Health Deputy Registrar Sherranne Hatch.

All students who checked in at the Mesa County Public Health booth received their backpack, then were given a passport to visit all the other stations. After visiting all the booths and getting their passport stamped at every station, the kids can bring their stamped passport back to the check in booth at the Mesa County Health station and they receive a $20 Walmart gift card.

“We’re working with the Mesa County Public Health department handing out backpacks for all the kids going back to school,” said St. Mary’s EMS outreach and injury prevention RN Sherry Johnson. “We also have helmets for bike safety awareness for the kiddos as well as bells. We have hilltop to the side of us they’re doing handouts as well. Free hot dogs. We’re basically here to help support the schools and the children going back to school.”

There are a lot of different organizations on hand, including the freedom institute - an organization focused on reducing crime, incarceration, and poverty in Colorado.

“Our whole goal is to increase access to county services,” said chief executive officer of the Freedom Institute Micah Espinoza. “One way we do that is through a platform called peak. So if someone’s wondering if they’re eligible for food stamps or Medicaid you can go onto peak and it’s a pre-screening tool. We’ve got that set up and we’ll have it at all of our locations.”

The event also has different games for kids so they can be entertained as adults check out adult resources.

“We know that people need help and we want to try to create an environment where they can come and get help,” said Espinoza. “But at the same time, an environment that respects their dignity. So that’s what we’re really trying to do this week. How can we engage with kids as a way to engage with families.”

Tomorrow, Tuesday July 20, the back to school bash will be at Shelledy Elementary School in Fruita from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Wednesday, July 21 it will be at Rocky Mountain Elementary School in Clifton from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Thursday, July 22 it will be at East Middle School from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Friday, July 23rd it will be at Dos Rios Elementary School from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.

For more information, visit https://healthymesacounty.org/sidekick/

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