Festival gets families set for school

Channing Sherman/Staff
Raven Hodge tries to break a board held by Terry Newton during the Columbia County Back to School Festival at Evans High. The event featured several booths with activities for children.

Knowing what school supplies to get and finding an after-school activity can sometimes be confusing and time-consuming for many parents.


That's why the goal of University Hospital's Back to School Festival was to make the task as simple as possible.

"We always try to do it on the tax-free weekend because that is when most parents are out getting their kids's school supplies. It makes it convenient for them to stop by here," said Amy Johnston, a community relations specialist at University Hospital.

"We have a lot of activities for the children as well during the festival. We just wanted to make it a fun weekend for the families as they prepare for the upcoming school year."

More than 1,000 parents and children came out to the festival Saturday at Evans High School to get information about school supplies, after-school programs, medical information and community activities.

"It was a pleasant environment, and I learned a lot about activities and assistance that is available right here in the community," said Tessa Lewis, whose daughter attends Evans High.

"I also liked the fact that it was integrated for different ages. For parents with children of different ages, going to different schools, this gave them the one-stop shop for their school information," she added.

Angela Stokes of Martinez said she was most impressed by the variety of information the festival provided.

"As a teacher, I found out how I can earn my master's degree to further my own education. I didn't know that there would be information that would help adults as well," she said.

"As a parent, it's good to know about the different options that are available for after-school programs."

The hosts of the festival were University Hospital, Columbia County Leisure Services, the Columbia County Board of Education and the Columbia County News-Times.

Reach Nikasha Dicks at (706) 823-3336 or nikasha.dicks@augustachronicle.com.