By Lynn Jones – Duval County students made their way back to the classroom this week and thanks to a myriad of community efforts, no student was left behind in the area of preparation.
From backpacks and shoes to school supplies and haircuts, thousands were ready for the first day of class. Locally around town El-Beth-El Divine Holiness Church held their a Back to School Food Giveaway including onsite vaccination shots. Hundreds of cars lined up to receive groceries, fresh meats, vegetables and back to school items. The Duval Black Women United (DBWU) distributed more than 300 back to school supplies to residents in the Norwood area. Volunteers worked alongside city council for the DBWU event with dispensing items and welcoming area residents to the giveaway. On the historic Eastside, school-aged children, their parents and their guardians were invited to attend a free back-to-school celebration inside Flossie Brunson Park. The United Way of Northeast Florida and partner’s give-a-way went an extra mile beyond school supplies as their event included uniforms, shoes, food, children’s activities, family resources and more to hundreds of residents in the area.
In Orange Park, the American Academy of Cosmetology and Prestige Barbers of Jacksonville presented a back-to school bash to give back to their community. The cosmetology specialist started the school year off on a good note for kids through grade 12th with free fresh haircuts, school supplies, snacks and a donation to the Quigley House Center for abused women. Non profits Dem Kidz, Inc. and Foundation of Success issued more than 100 book bags/backpacks, pairs of shoes, a laptop and a new bicycle with a helmet and bike lock at Northside’s Mitchell Park Community Center. Tammy Z. Seymour, Executive Director of DEM KIDZ INC, believes in student success and uses her grandmother’s words of wisdom to live by and show compassion. “Be good to each other, just like my Grandmama taught me,” said Seymour. Through the willingness to support and collaboration of the season, the Jacksonville community ensures no child is left behind .