by Mary Rupert
Thousands of Wyandotte County students will be ready for the first day of school, thanks to the efforts of hundreds of volunteers today at the Wyandotte County Back-to-School Fair.
The Back-to-School Fair was held Saturday morning at Kansas City Kansas Community College and the Boys and Girls Club of Wyandotte County.
Andrica Wilcoxen, director of student activities at KCKCC, said the turnout this morning was great.
“We have supplies for 5,000 students in Wyandotte County, with backpacks filled with school supplies, for prekindergarten to 12th grade students,” she said.
“’Every child ready Day One’ is our slogan,” she said. It is a positive and empowering event for everyone involved, she said.
Kids who go to school with all the supplies and everything they need the first day tend to be more successful and have less behavioral problems in school, she said. It’s also better for the parents, as it prevents parents from feeling embarrassed at not having everything ready for the children, which in turn could lead to parents staying away from interacting with teachers and school groups. If the kids are ready the first day of school, the parents are more likely to be connected, she said.
The fair was for all children in Wyandotte County. The first day of school in the Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools is Aug. 10 for prekindergarten to fifth grade, sixth grade and ninth grade students and Aug. 11 for all other students in the district.
The fair also included free sports physicals, vision screening, dental screening, and immunizations. There was also a free lunch for everyone attending. There were 70 exhibitors providing information from the community, Wilcoxen said. Some included free resources and giveaways.
The fair’s major sponsors were the Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools, Kansas City Kansas Community College and the Board of Public Utilities, and it also had many other sponsors and volunteers, Wilcoxen said.
The event is run by community volunteers from different organizations across Wyandotte County, who come together to make this happen, Wilcoxen said. They are volunteering their time on top of their regular jobs, she added.
She particularly cited Arlana Coleman, chairman of the Back-to-School Fair, as having volunteered the most hours for this effort.