Back To School Bashes help thousands of families across Hamilton County

The school district, as well as private citizens, give of their time and money to help give students a head start to Wednesday's first day of school

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – This is the final weekend before school starts in Tennessee.

Several groups, including the Hamilton County School District, wanted to get students and parents ready for what’s to come next Wednesday.

The district held its Back To School Bash at the First Horizon Pavilion this morning.

Thousands of families showed up to get free backpacks and supplies for their children.

Some of the families that attended today’s festivities weren’t able to take advantage of last weekend’s school supply sales tax holiday.

The schools’ superintendent, Dr. Justin Robertson, says the district was prepared.

“To get several thousand families through here this weekend shows that there’s a need and we saw a lot of happy faces. A lot of kids were getting supplies that will help them get off to a good start next Wednesday.”

Dr. Robertson says parents will see a lot more engagement from the individual schools and the districts in hopes that there will be better communications in all aspects of a student’s learning experience.

Then, there were some back to school events in the community, for the community.

One example is Nothing But Net out by the airport.

Owner Kenny Henderson and community partners also gave away backpacks and school supplies to families in need this morning.

Henderson says building trust in the community helps to strengthen it.

“It’s often that the community we’re in is often times overlooked. Although we can’t control how many people come out to us, we can control what we give to our people. Right? So, we just want to continue to provide Nothing But Net as a safe space for our community.”

Henderson says he will continue to serve the community, and expects his next big event to happen around Thanksgiving.

Just a couple miles from Nothing But Net was another backpack giveaway at Shepherd Community Center.

Volunteers from several organizations in the city bought and brought supplies for kids.

What came in also went out, and organizers of the event says this shows a city united.

Sgt. Jasin Holmes of the Chattanooga Police Department says, “You have people that showed up here that couldn’t make it downtown. So, just to be able to say ‘If you can’t make it downtown, you can make it here … a little bit closer… get school supplies. If you want to do both, you could have done both. But, like I say, there’s never enough. There’s always plenty. There’s always more to hand out and give.”

Among the organizations in attendance were the Chattanooga Police Department, HeadStart, and The Black Employees Network of Amazon.

Categories: Chattanooga, Education, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News