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Students prepare for first day of school
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Zaylee King attends Bobby Ray Elementary registration and is looking forward to entering fourth grade. Zaylee is excited to begin reading again after a fun summer. - photo by Atlanta Northcutt
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Angel Diaz, 6, will be going into first grade in style with a new haircut from Dana Roller. - photo by Atlanta Northcutt

Backpacks, school supplies, clothing, haircuts and games were all free and part of Bobby Ray Elementary’s first registration on Thursday.

As pre-K through fifth-grade students entered the school to register for the beginning of the 2019-20 school year, special gifts were awaited.

Tree City Church and Westwood Church of Christ rallied together enough backpacks and school supplies for each child who attended registration, with the backpacks being filled with all of the supplies for each classroom’s list.

“Both of the churches approached us and are actually our partners in education. They donated the backpack, supplies, haircuts, food and everything else needed,” said principal Monti Hillis. “The members of these churches also volunteered during registration, along with the teachers, to help make the registrations run smoothly.”

The students were able to choose backpacks matching their personalities filled with the supplies needed for their grade level.

“The kick-off involving the community support really demonstrates how this is going to be a great year,” said Hillis.

Two hair stylists, Red Berry’s MaKayla Savage and Dana Roller of Dana Roller’s Salon, donated their time to help the kids look and feel good before heading back to school. 

“I just love kids and love to give our services to those who need haircuts. It definitely gives the kids more confidence and helps the parents,” said Roller.

Wilson Cates, Tori Strong, LPN and Lisa Dean, MA, held a booth with information regarding how to receive care from the new on-site medical clinic for faculty, staff and students. Those needing healthcare can schedule an appointment online or check in at the front desk in the office. The clinic uses diagnostic testing on site for illnesses such as strep throat, skin conditions, earaches, orthopedic injuries, flu tests and more on the campus of Bobby Ray.

The second day of registration begins Monday, Aug. 5 at 7:45 to 9:45 a.m. with free backpacks, supplies and all of the other donations given by Westwood Church of Christ and Tree City Church.

Kim O’Connor, Jennifer Brooks and Jennifer van Vuuren, members of Westwood Church of Christ, volunteered during Thursday’s registration at Bobby Ray helping give out the 375 backpacks provided by donations by the church’s congregation. 

“We talked with someone at the Central Office last year about what the greatest need was in Warren County, and there were a couple of elementary schools with those needs. Bobby Ray was at the top of the list so we just felt like this would take the burden off parents and help the kids’ self-esteem,” said O’Connor.

Approximately 550-600 students will be enrolled at Bobby Ray Elementary this year. Hillis has been the principal for six years and enjoys being with the children and watching their growth.

Once school officially begins Wednesday, Aug. 7, Bobby Ray will be starting the year with the Positive Behavior Support Program, where children will be given tickets for learning procedures and good behavior. Starburst Day will be Friday, Aug. 9 with a firetruck coming to the school and a special water day filled with splashes and smiles to kick off the new school year in a fun and exciting way.