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Article posted on June 28, 2017

Family back-to-school fairs seek support of local businesses

Back-to-school fairs in Lethbridge, Fort Macleod, and Medicine Hat give kids everything they need under one roof.
Back-to-school fairs in Lethbridge, Fort Macleod, and Medicine Hat give kids everything they need under one roof.
Lethbridge School district No.51 Staff hand out school supplies at the 2015 Ready, Set, Go! back-to-school fair.
Lethbridge School district No.51 Staff hand out school supplies at the 2015 Ready, Set, Go! back-to-school fair.

Sharpened pencils, crisp loose-leaf paper, and that all-important “first day outfit” – these are some of the back-to-school basics often taken for granted.

But for many families, the weeks leading up to a new school year bring about financial and emotional stress. “Getting kids ready for back-to-school can be a daunting and expensive task for many families,” says Desiree L’Heureux, Contract Specialist for Community and Social Services. Costs can extend beyond that of basic school supplies to services deemed necessary for social inclusion, such as haircuts and dental hygiene, and some families simply can’t cope.

But no child should lack the necessities for a positive learning experience. This belief led to the creation of Ready, Set, Go!, a Lethbridge back-to-school fair. Founded in 2013 by L’Heureux and Tracey Erickson-Driscoll, Making Connections Program Manager with the Lethbridge School District No.51, Ready, Set, Go! brings together families, children, and local community service providers for a one-day event designed to help kids get back-to-school ready. This year’s event will take place August 24 and aims to serve 1,200 children and youth in Lethbridge.

Entering its fifth year, Ready, Set, Go! is invitation-only, meaning families in attendance have been nominated by community service providers based on their level of need. Upon arrival, families may receive complimentary school supplies and services from over 40 organizations in attendance. From backpacks and new shoes, to vision screening and immunizations, the scope of supplies and services available is all-encompassing and makes a world of difference for families during a difficult time of year. The fair is made possible thanks to the support of two school districts, Alberta Health Services, Community and Social Services, Children’s Services, local community agencies, volunteers, and corporate and community partners including Daytona Homes,  the Kinsmen Club of Lethbridge, United Way, Knights of Columbus, Staples, and Urban Spirits Rotary Club of Lethbridge.

A similar invitation-only event will also take place in Medicine Hat in August, while Fort Macleod will welcome all families to its annual Back-to-School Connect event in August.

Does your business operate in any of these communities? If so, consider sponsoring back-to-school essentials for one of the fairs (listed below) and show your commitment to youth and their families. Your business will enjoy the perks of partnership, gaining new community connections and positive brand exposure. If sponsorship isn’t an option, gifts of all sizes are welcome and appreciated. Donations can be made through the Lethbridge School District No.51 website by selecting “Ready Set Go Program” as the fund destination.

Lethbridge
Ready, Set, Go!

Fort Macleod
Back-to-School Connect

Medicine Hat
Fresh Start to School

$6000 Teen Hygiene Kits

$4000 Snacks/Meals

$3000 Lunch Bags

$7500 Backpacks

$7000 Backpacks

$3000 Snacks

$4200 Toques and Mittens

$1500 Teen Hygiene Kits

$2000 Snacks

Ready to become a sponsor? Connect with us at getstarted@albertaspromise.org or 1-866-313-7500.

Last Updated: Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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