Those resources include:
- 3,500 backpacks donated by United Way of South Hampton Roads, Beach Municipal FCU, VCU Alumni, National Flag Football and Coastal Edge
- 200 haircuts by Rudy & Kelly Academy and Legacy Barber & Style Inc.
- 200 dental screenings by Colgate-Palmolive Company Bright Smiles, Bright Futures
- 283 vision screenings (and 50 children referred for vision correction) by Thalia Lions Club
- 95 physicals from Virginia Beach Department of Public Health
At the haircut station, Heather Montgomery brought her son Christian to get a clean-up before he enters kindergarten at Ocean Lakes Elementary.
“I’m a single parent,” Montgomery said, “so every little bit helps.” She added at the she appreciates stylist student Boston Bowab of Rudy & Kelly Academy for volunteering their services at the event.
Natalie Petroskey, owner of Legacy Lacrosse, set up an obstacle course at the event, to encourage children to take a try holding a lacrosse racket for the first time.
“I love kids,” she said, “and I’m a big believer in giving back.” In other hands-on activities, volunteers from Virginia Symphony brought a cello to fair, and showed children how to hold the bow and play a few notes.
Students and Staff from Landstown High School Governor’s STEM and Technology Academy encouraged children and adults to design and build towers using spaghetti noodles and marshmallows. Landstown students Colin Berry and Tyrel Rivers said it was interesting to see younger kids begin to understand engineering concepts.
Additional highlights of the event included:
- 1,500 beach bags non-perishable food distributed by Virginia Beach Education Foundation
- 121 partner and VBCPS exhibitors
- Nine school buses deployed to bring families to the event by VBCPS Transportation Services
- One Monster Fire Truck from Virginia Beach Fire Department
- Hundreds of ident-a-kid kits by Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office
- Dozens of volunteers, including staff and students
“Now in its third year, the Back-to-School Care Fair continues to bring the entire community together in a spirit of giving, learning and having fun,” said Jen McGowan, coordinator of school and community partnerships for Virginia Beach City Public Schools.
“On behalf of the Office of Family and Community Engagement, thank you to all of the sponsors, businesses, organizations and VBCPS departments that helped plan and implement the 2023 Back-to-School Care Fair for our communities,” McGowan said. “Because of your support, students and their families were provided numerous resources for the upcoming school year.”
For more information about the fair, email Jennifer.McGowan@vbschools.com. The sponsors of the Back-to-School Care Fair are the United Way of South Hampton Roads, Smart City Networks, Coastal Edge, Virginia Beach Education Foundation, Beach Municipal Federal Credit Union, and GEICO.