Community-wide collaboration supports more than 1,100 students
PAHOKEE — Exciting giveaways, backpacks filled with supplies delivered by local firefighters, an educational exhibitors fair, deejay music and a hearty hot lunch – fresh off a smoking grill – provided a welcoming, fun backdrop for the City of Pahokee’s eighth annual “Putting Kids First” Back-to-School Bash. The event, providing new backpacks and school supplies for more than 1,100 Pahokee students ages 5–18, took place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, July 29, at Pahokee High School.
Each year, the City of Pahokee hosts the fun-filled event in support of the children and families who attend its neighborhood schools. The widespread community collaboration fosters a message of empowerment with helpful resources among a variety of generous sponsors and committed vendors. In addition to Palm Beach County Fire Rescue, a host of representatives from local agencies and organizations turned out with educational resources and information to bring their message of year-round support services available to the children and families of Pahokee. Among those filling the school gym were Bridges Palm Beach County, American Red Cross, Palm Beach County Library System, KidCare and Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County.
Leading the event with a warm welcome and distribution of giveaway items was Pahokee Mayor Keith W. Babb Jr. He was pleased to personally award many donated items, bicycles, laptop computers and gift cards to area family-friendly destinations such as the Science Center & Aquarium and Rapids Water Park. Other officials in attendance were Pahokee Vice Mayor Nathaniel Holmes and City Commissioner Felisia C. Hill. Serving as event emcee was Pahokee City Manager Chandler Williamson.
The city is appreciative of the many generous private and business donors who made this year’s Back-to-School Bash successful. Among its top supporters are Florida Crystals, TrustBridge, Q81 Foundation and Xfinity.
Pahokee’s Back-to-School Bash supports students and families who attend public and private schools in Palm Beach County. Some are Pahokee Elementary School, Pahokee Middle School, Pahokee High School, Glades Academy, among others. An average of 92 percent of Pahokee students are enrolled in the free or reduced-price lunch program.