Back to School Events Set in Piggott and Rector

Thursday, August 3, 2017
The 2016 Backpack Bash in Piggott.
courtesy photo

With classes set to start in just a couple of weeks, two different efforts are set for Saturday to help insure local students are well-prepared.

Backpack Bash

Fun, food and a helping hand into the new school year await students and parents alike at the third annual Backpack Bash—set for this Saturday Aug. 5.

The Piggott Community Alliance hosts the annual Backpack Bash each year to help students gather necessary school supplies for the new school year, which is now only weeks away.

No matter the income level, students and parents are encouraged to come to the Hemingway-Pfeiffer House and Education Center and Matilda and Karl Pfeiffer Museum to take part in all the fun and food offered at this year's event.

“Everybody, anybody, everybody, come on out and get a backpack. If you're not going to get a backpack you can come on out and have hotdogs and snowcones, we'll have members from Shady Grove (Missionary Baptist Church, there giving out water, face paintings, and the train ride we have at fall festival will be out there. Just come out and have good time and enjoy yourselves,” said Community Alliance representative Penny Toombs.

This year, backpacks are being offered to Piggott students ranging from Kindergarten through grade 12. This marks a significant increase from previous years which only covered elementary school students. Toombs noted this year's increase is due to the many donations from local churches and businesses across the Piggott Community including such supporters as Piggott State Bank and the two museums which offered both school supplies and the location for the event.

Event organizers note each backpack contains approximately $25 worth of school supplies for students to carry comfortably into the new school year.

Along side the backpacks and free food, many fun and helpful events will be had at the bash. These include face painting, haircuts and a scenic train ride for the kids through the Pfeiffer estate.

Hopefully, this years bash will be even more successful than last years which saw the event planners giving away of over 300 backpacks. In fact, last year's bash was so successful the Community Alliance ran out of backpacks early and was forced to provide supplies to those who missed-out at a later date. To prevent a repeat, this year the Alliance has acquired more backpacks to cover as many students as possible.

The Piggott Community Alliance has been preparing for the Backpack Bash since March, and it appears to be one of the biggest they've had yet.

“Just being able to do something for somebody, just giving and seeing that joy that they get from being a recipient,” is the response Toombs gave when asked what the best part of the bash was for herself and the members of the Community Alliance.

In the event of rain, Toombs wanted to verify that the bash would not be canceled, but would instead be conducted at the First General Baptist Church's Family Life Center, located on South Taylor Avenue.

Those wanting more information may contact the Piggott Community Alliance at piggottcommunityalliance@gmail.com

Back to School With Love Day

Several Rector churches will join forces this Saturday, Aug. 5, for the annual “Back to School With Love Day.” From 9 to 11 a.m. on Saturday, school supplies, hygiene items and other necessities will be distributed at some of the churches while others will be making donations directly to the schools.

The Fifth and Pine Church of Christ will be handing out school supplies for students in kindergarten through high school. Meanwhile, the First United Methodist Church will be distributing backpacks—again for kindergarten through high school age students. And, Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church will be distributing hygiene items, which will be distributed in backpacks as well.

All children attending the distributions must be accompanied by an adult to pick up supplies.

Other churches will be participating, and taking items directly to the schools for use by students. First General Baptist Church will be providing socks and underwear to the schools, while First Baptist Church will be providing cleaning supplies—also delivered to the schools for use.

The “Back to School With Love Day” is an annual outreach effort of the local churches, designed to benefit Rector area students and provide them with a positive start to the coming school year.

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