“We gave away 200 back packs, and there were at least another 100 people in line,” says Charlotte, YEP Director. That's 200 pre-K to 12th grade core city neighborhood youth with new school bags and supplies to start the new academic year.
The Back to School Bash is a yearly opportunity for neighborhood parents and children to gather at Muskegon Covenant Academy, the previous site of McLaughlin Elementary School . “The closing of McLaughlin Elementary scattered the youth across the school district,”says Charlotte. “Some of the kids went to Moon, and Nelson; Some went to Marquette, or school of choice, and some went to charter schools. Usually they end up back together at Muskegon High School.” So with the loss of the school and the scattering of McLaughlin Neighborhood youth across many schools, the Back to School Bash offers the community an opportunity to bring everyone together to celebrate our youth and their education.
“It’s an opportunity for the community to come together and just have a good time,” says Charlotte who alongside Portia Kidd of Muskegon Covenant Academy to pull this event together that included games, bounce houses, prizes and clothes give-aways. We are grateful to the following partners who provided food, backpacks and school supplies: New Life Christian Center,Tyson, JT (a local barber who provided free haircuts), Journey Church, Greater Muskegon Optimist Club, McLaughlin Neighborhood Association, Molina Healthcare, and Axios. Also grateful to Muskegon Covenant Academy’s staff who helped to plan this event and opened their doors for this community celebration.
Charlotte states, “This is more than just having a good time. It’s about showing up for our youth. They get overjoyed when they see you, they see your presence in their school building, they see your presence in their community, and to be able to acknowledge them and their joy and give them a hug and ask, ‘What grade are you in? My, how you are growing up! It’s good to see you.’ That's what this event is.”
We wish all of our neighborhood youth the best of luck as they embark on this academic year!