Many students believe a back-to-school event to be a shopping spree for new clothes and supplies.
Patrick Reagan, 9, identifies the food groups Saturday for Brookwood Elementary School lunchroom manager Elander Jones during the third annual Back to School Festival held last year at Evans High School.
File photo by Chris Thelen
Columbia County school officials hope they think of a robotic school bus.
The county's Back to School Festival will be held Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Evans High School, 4550 Cox Road.
A joint venture between the Columbia County Board of Education and University Hospital, the festival features speech and vision screenings, nutrition tips and immunization requirements, drug, alcohol and safety awareness tips, information on before- and after-school child care programs, registration for dance classes, sports and other recreational activities and information on school calendars and bus schedules.
"Our big thing for the Back to School Festival will be from our transportation department," Columbia County School System Special Projects Coordinator Karen L. Ribble said. "They will be on hand to do demonstrations and give out bus route information."
Buster, a school-bus shaped robot, will be there to give students bus safety tips and answer questions about bus routes.
"It's a friendly and happy atmosphere for the kids to learn how to be safe on the bus," Ribble said.
Most of the booths and activities will be located in the Evans High School parking lot. But performances by local civic and youth groups will be held in the school's auditorium.
Past performances in the auditorium included a fashion show, karate demonstration and dance team routines, Ribble said.
"It gives an opportunity for a youth group, or a business that caters to youth, to do some kind of performance," she said.
Organizers of the fifth annual festival geared the event toward elementary-aged students in the past. But this year, Ribble said they are trying to attract older students as well.
"In addition to our transportation department, we'll also have information from our career centers," she said. "A few guidance counselors will be on hand to field any questions about what's required for the senior project, the SATs and high school-type information."
Last year, about 1,000 students and parents attended the festival, Ribble said. With an expanded focus on older students, she expects that number to grow.
"Each year it just gets better," she said. "I think its a good, relaxed atmosphere for parents to learn about getting their kids back in school."
IF YOU GO:
What: Columbia County's Back to School Festival
When: Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: Evans High School, 4550 Cox Road
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