Back to School Bonanza: Bright Futures Berryville helps students be classroom-ready

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Bright Futures Berryville is helping families make sure their students are classroom-ready before the new school year begins.

Bright Futures will host a Back to School Bonanza from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3, in Bobcat Arena. There will be free haircuts, screenings, school supplies and much more for Berryville students in kindergarten through seventh grade. A parent or guardian must be present with the children.

Mindy Hicks, coordinator of Bright Futures Berryville, said the idea for the Bonanza came together last year during one of the advisory board meetings when board members were brainstorming on Bright Futures’ purpose.

“Part of Bright Futures is educating parents, not just giving handouts,” Hicks said. “We saw this as an opportunity to get them involved. It grew from the idea of having a health fair to offering free haircuts to the Bonanza.”

Advisory board member Misty Gregory said Bright Futures will have several vendors present for the Bonanza, including Anstaff Bank, First National Bank, Mercy Berryville, Warren Welding, Economy Drug, Equity Bank, Cornerstone Bank and more.

“The vendors will be inside the Bobcat Arena, and they’ll be doing some informative sessions for parents,” Gregory said. “The Lions Club will be sponsoring vision screenings, and Berryville Eyecare will be on hand for different screenings.”

For school supplies, Hicks said parents can let Bright Futures team members know what their child needs, and they will have the items ready to go in the child’s classroom before the school year begins.

“We may have to purchase some more items to fill in the gaps, but we want to make sure every child is ready for the new school year,” Hicks said. “We also have someone donating backpacks.”

Gregory said the Back to School Bonanza will even feature fun activities for the children behind the arena.

“There will be bounce houses, slides, popcorn and snow cones,” she said. “Tyson will also provide chicken.”

She said Bright Futures Berryville plans to make the Back to School Bonanza an annual event.

“We hope it will be a success and grow more each year,” Gregory said. “We also want to thank our Bright Futures champions for their support throughout this first year and for providing for the needs of our students. We could not do this without them.”

Hicks said Bright Futures Berryville has also been holding a Stuff the Bus event throughout the month of July. Anyone wishing to purchase and donate school supplies to the Berryville School District can drop them off at the following locations: Freeman Heights Baptist Church, Carroll County Health Unit, Berryville Police Department, First National Bank of North Arkansas, Berryville Machine Shop, Arvest Bank, Southern Heights Baptist Church, KTHS Radio, Mercy Hospital, Derek Bell State Farm, Jo Ann Clark State Farm, Cornerstone Bank, Anstaff Bank, Killingsowrth CPA Firm, Midtown Laundry and Equity Bank.

“I’ve had people ask me about monetary donations as well,” she said. “They can drop those off at any of the schools with ‘attention Mindy Hicks’ written on them or at any of the drop-off locations.”

Bright Futures Berryville decided to hold the Stuff the Bus event, Hicks said, because 72 percent of Berryville students are identified as being at the poverty level. Helping the families with school supplies helps ensure that the district’s students have what they need for school, she said.

For a list of suggested school supplies, Hicks said people can check out the Stuff the Bus flyer on the Bright Futures Berryville page on Facebook.

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