Hundreds receive free supplies at Back to School Rally

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Baltimore, Md–8/8/15–People line up for school supplies and information as the city holds Mayor Rawlings-Blake’s 2015 Back 2 School Rally on War Memorial Plaza at City Hall. Kim Hairston/Baltimore Sun. 40220. (Kim Hairston / Baltimore Sun)[/caption] ( ENSPIRE COMMUNITY ) Hundreds receive free supplies at Back to School Rally Hundreds of adults and children spent Saturday afternoon on the War Memorial Plaza getting free information, services, and office supplies for the school year. Families lined up at Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake‘s annual Back to School Rally to receive free backpacks, clothes and shoes, fresh produce and classroom supplies. They also participated in games, crafts and face-painting. Free flu shots and dental exams were available too, and the Fire Department performed CPR demonstrations. “It’s a way to help make sure that our students here in the city start off the school year with the supplies that they need,” said Marva Williams, special events director for the city. Williams said she wants young people to concentrate on their education rather than the increased violence the city has faced since the rioting broke out in the wake of Freddie Gray’s death in April. “We want them to be focused on starting an new school year and being the best that they can be,” she said. “We don’t want them to worry about anything else that’s happened in the past. We’re moving forward.” Separately, the nonprofit group ROSE – Rising Over Standards and Excelling – held a back-to-school giveaway and health fair in Forest Park on Saturday afternoon. The group continues to solicit school supplies for a second event planned for August 21, in the 2500 block of Francis Street. ROSE, in partnership with Gethsemane Baptist Church, plans to host a carnival that day where it aims to provide more than 300 book bags with supplies to families in the Penn-North community. On a stage at the city event downtown were several live performances, including music by steel drum players, a violinist and a female rap group. Many children and families danced along to music like “Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae)” by Silento as they waited in line to build and paint toolboxes with Home Depot volunteers and take pictures with costumed characters. Britney White, 27, said she was pleasantly surprised that the event offered more than just free school supplies for her 6-year-old son. “I got a lot of information, and not just about back to school, but for health, and that’s good,” she said. Doris Pena, 21, attended with her mother, brother and 4-year-old daughter, who recieved a vaccination. “That was one of the big things we came for,” she said.   SOURCE]]>

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