Flagler County, FL – Ready to get kids off to a good start, the Flagler County school district held the 10th annual Back to School Jam on Saturday.
Welcoming kids with an appearance from the area’s superheroes, organizations and local businesses shared details on everything from afterschool programs like karate at Villari’s Martial Arts to Civil Air Patrol, Boy Scouts and SWAT or Students Working Against Tobacco.
Providing resources for parents already thinking ahead to the holiday season, Judy Mazzella talked with families about the importance of signing up for The Giving Store, while sharing details on their semi-annual rummage sale to raise funds for the holiday effort.
“Registration for The Giving Store is now until the beginning of December for kids fifth grade and under,” said Mazzella, volunteer coordinator for the Flagler Volunteer Services. “We would love items for our Rummage Sale as we take that money and buy gifts for The Giving Store.”
Palm Coast Staples retail store manager Moises Heipiz teamed up with Jearlyn Ministries to provide school supplies and get the word out about the 8th Annual Back to School Bash on August 14th from 11 am to 2 pm at Church on the Rock in Bunnell.
“I am here to connect with the community and give back as an organization,” said Heipiz. “We know everybody’s in need right now with what’s going on. This is priceless. There are no words to say how important this is or how it makes you feel to give back.”
Also a big giver to the local schools, Kona Ice of Flagler County owner Chuck Cullen summed it up during the Back to School Jam. In addition to providing cool treats for families at events, his company has a giveback fundraising element and has provided checks for more than $70,000 to Flagler County schools since 2016.
“We love seeing the kiddos from the different schools, and our biggest joy is making those give back checks to thank them for all the support from the parents, students, teachers and staff,” said Cullen. “We love what we do, and it’s a great feeling.”
As parents talked with representatives from their child’s school on hand at various booths throughout the gymnasium, it was a chance to familiarize themselves with the administration and learn more about the upcoming school year.
Supporting the school district’s effort to help families prepare for opening day on Tuesday, members of the Flagler County Education Foundation offered up 500 pre-stuffed bags filled with supplies. The foundation’s immediate past president and current Palm Coast mayor David Alfin was excited to see the enthusiasm from Flagler families.
“I’ve been serving the foundation for almost the last 10 years and I’ve never had a more rewarding or inspiring experience,” said Alfin.
“I’m happy to be here to today for the Back to School Jam to see everybody and wish the kids the kids good luck. The spirit is incredible today despite COVID and everything else. It’s a great turnout and everybody is very excited about Tuesday, and a very exciting school year ahead.”
Last year’s Back to School Jam was cancelled due to the pandemic, and the school district’s coordinator for communications and community outreach Sabrina Crosby shared the families’ excitement about the first day of school’s arrival.
“This is one of our best (special projects), the Back to School Jam, where we welcome children and families back to school,” said Crosby.
“You can see the families are visiting all the different providers with afterschool activities and giveaways. It just warms your heart, and it’s a joyful day. You can see that they’re very joyful and excited, as well.”
If your student needs assistance with supplies or you’d like to help by making a donation, please visit https://www.flagleredfoundation.org/.