Forget about sleeping late and hitting snooze. Students and teachers return to school this morning across the county with classes beginning bright and early at 7:45 a.m.
"We're excited to get the school year underway and we hope everybody gets off to a good start," said Director of Schools Bobby Cox.
With school buses hitting the roads, the Tennessee Highway Patrol is reminding motorists not to pass a bus with its stop sign out and to be mindful of children around school zones.
To prepare for the dawn of a new school year, Gath Baptist Church on Smithville Highway offered a back-to-school bash on Sunday. The event was free and offered school supplies to area children.
“This was our first year doing this,” said Judy Stewart, event organizer. “Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Being our first year, we didn’t know how it would go, but it went well. We’ll definitely consider doing this again next year.”
The party offered inflatables, a dunking booth, cornhole, face painting, spin the wheel to win prizes, icees, hot dogs, chips, cookies, watermelon, drinks, and to get children in the school spirit, and a detention area for “unruly students.”
While the church annually offers a free fall festival, this year the decision was made to help parents with school supplies.
“I work at Dibrell School in its after school teaching program,” said Stewart. “I know there is a great need for children to have supplies. I saw one school supply list that said the supplies would cost $35. That was for one child. I was shocked. We talked about it and decided instead of having a fall festival, we would have a back to school and really help the community. We wanted to be a blessing to the community and to parents during these hard times.”
Among the numerous school supplies offered to every child who attended were paper, pencils, notebooks, crayons, markers, folders, etc., and more than 100 backpacks that were donated by a different church. Preschool children were also provided items that they would need.
“What we did was get several school supply lists and I spent two to three months buying the items on the list,” said Stewart. “I waited until the items were on sale and bought as many as I could. I cleaned out quite a few shelves over the last couple months. The church spent $3,000.”
Items, such as scientific calculators that cost $8 each, were placed as prizes to be won from spinning the prize wheel.
The event was open to all children in Warren County. Teachers who helped with the event were given school supplies for their classrooms and $25 gift cards to help purchase other items.