By Paul Thompson
Mattie Rhodes Center (148 Topping Ave.) hosted its annual Back to School Rally on Thursday, August 3, from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. Attendees got a helping hand as they prepare for the start of the school year.
The center prepared 350 bags stuffed with school supplies and offered free student immunizations and health screenings, free books, information on upcoming programs and activities through the Mattie Rhodes Center, and even soccer gear such as balls, socks, cleats and jerseys courtesy of the Soccer for Success program.
Angela Brunner, the marketing and events coordinator at Mattie Rhodes Center, said that by the end of the event on Thursday nearly all of the school supplies on hand had been given away.
“We put together over 350 bags of school supplies for elementary and middle school kids,” Brunner said. “If they weren’t able to make it today, we will give these to our staff to give to participants. We also work very closely with schools, so we will take them to the schools, and that way when students transfer in, we have them ready to go for them. They definitely will still get out to the community.”
The school supply bags included items like folders, notebooks, erasers, glue, pencil bags, rulers, Kleenex and wipes.
“This is the most important time,” Brunner said. “People are trying to save for shoes or backpacks or whatever it might be, so we try to get as much stuff out there as we can to save them a few extra bucks.”