JONESVILLE – The Jonesville Public Library teamed up with local law enforcement, EMS officals, and other local and regional organizations to hold the first ever Back 2 School Bash Saturday afternoon. Families came out with their children for a fun day of games, activities, prizes, food, and free school supplies to prepare them for the classroom.
“I think it’s really great that they came together for this. It’s a really good thing for the community,” said Keyler Fulton.
“I think it’s great,” said Ann Rupard. “The kids came to the summer programs all summer and they’ve been having a great time. My daughter’s been a little dancer here today. The free books are fantastic and all the school supplies from the fire department gives kids something to look forward to. The kids love stuff like this and you don’t see it a whole lot. When I was growing up, you struggled to go out and buy school supplies and here they can get some stuff.”
Clifford the Big Red Dog was wandering around the library dancing with kids. Several make-and-take-it craft stations were scattered around the library. A silent auction was held for prizes ranging from a trip in the North Carolina mountains to a signed Carolina Panthers football. Kids went nuts in the bounce house and games and prizes went on throughout the day. Every child who came to the bash got a free drink and icy pop.
Members of Smart Start of Yadkin County came out to provide games and prizes for children while promoting reading for the youth.
”We’re a nonprofit that provides all different types of services for families with children from birth to age five,” said executive director Carolyn Choplin of Smart Start. “We’ve got the Go-Fish, signing up for the Dolly Parton Imagination library, a program for any child in Yadkin County younger than the age of 5 to get a free book every month until their fifth birthday. We also have fingernail painting. We’re really excited to be here.”
Organizations came out to provide school supplies for children to prepare them for a busy year of learning.
“We have some school supplies, cookies, casserole mixes, and lessons to try to give these kids an opportunity to have school supplies and healthy options,” said Heather Macy of the Tri-County Christian Crisis Ministry. “There aren’t a lot of different activities that don’t cost a ton of money so this is a wonderful opportunity for the community to join together and just enjoy the afternoon and have fun as a family. We don’t have that opportunity very often. I love everybody coming together to support a common goal; helping our kids in the community.”
Head Start came out to provide children with free books.
“It’s been a great experience. We’ve had a really good turnout this morning,” said Tracy Mays of Head Start. “The kids really enjoy it. Head Start has been blessed with someone donating a lot of books for us so we in turn give them out to the community, our parents, Head Start children, and during benefits like this.”
Donna Pruett, the balloon lady, was at the library making free creations for children entirely out of balloons, ranging from fishing rods to sabers. She left one of her personal creations at the library, a balloon alien.
“I’ve been doing this for 33 years,” said Donna Pruett. “I lived in New Orleans at the times when I was a Theatre Major and when I saw it and I knew I needed to learn it. Then when I started doing it, people wouldn’t leave me alone, so I turned it into a job. I don’t get to work locally a whole lot so I like days like this where I get to talk to the kids instead of being on stage. It’s nice to be one on one with them for a minute.”
Around noon, Brianna Daye arrived at the library dressed up as Elsa from Frozen making many little girls giddy with excitement.
The members of the Jonesville Library are thrilled with the turnout this year and hope they can hold it again next year.
“I just seeing all the kids coming in and and enjoying themselves,” said Shayla Rawley, assistant librarian at Jonesville Public Library. “It really uplifts your spirits when you see so many happy kids. I believe it’s been a big success and it’s nice to see the community support with the Sheriff’s office and Fire Department. It brings them together. Many parents dread not being able to spend as much time with their children and so a day like this helps to emphasize family and closeness. I would like to see it done again next year. I think it’s really good for the community bringing different people together especial with a lot of kids dreading school and giving them something really fun to enjoy.”
“It’s been awesome,” said assistant librarian Christi Pate. “We’ve had at least 50 kids already and three hours to go. We publicized it like crazy. The first 50 kids get a goody back of school supplies. Because of the different people setting up here today, families can talk to the different agencies in the county, such as Head Start. It also brings awareness to the library.
“We hope this raises to how important our library is for everyone in Jonesville,” said Mary Emmons of the Jonesville Public Library.
Troy Brooks may be reached at 336-258-4058.