August 17, 2009
Today, at least, the kids were excited about school
If only kids could be kept as excited about school as they were today!
More than 1,000 kindergartners through eighth graders eagerly attended Racine's Back-to-School Jam -- well, that's what the DJ called it! -- at Festival Hall this afternoon, to collect a free backpack filled with school supplies. The official name was the Back to School, Stay in School Festival.
While they waited for the handout to begin at 2 p.m. they played games like dodgeball outside with Racine playground leaders, danced under the big tent to the DJ, visited a bounce house, had their faces painted, stopped at booths staffed by the Racine Fire Department, Educators Credit Union, the Girl Scouts, chess club, Lighted Schoolhouse, Safe Kids, Safe Haven, the NAACP Youth Council and Focus on Community to pick up information, free pencils, a stick-on fireman badge.
Oh, and they drank free Pepsi and ate free pizza; in fact, they went through more than 180 pizzas by about 1 p.m., supplied by Racine's two Domino's franchises, which took turns bringing in 25 pies at a time.
But the main event was the handing out of the backpacks, organized by former mayoral candidate Lesia Hill-Driver, who raised $10,000 from local businesses and organizations to buy the supplies.