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Beyond the Backpack Community Event Helps Families Prepare for Start of School

     Students, families and members of the community joined Beyond Housing and the 24:1 for the 2018 Beyond the Backpack community back-to-school event on Saturday, August 4. The event was held at Normandy High School in the Normandy Schools Collaborative.

    “This is an amazing way to start the school year,” said Dr. Charles J. Pearson, Normandy Superintendent of Schools. “Hats off to the 24:1, Beyond Housing, the city officials and all of our supporters. This is the type of collaboration that will help us continue to improve — operational excellence fueled by community engagement.”

    A festive atmosphere, Beyond the Backpack included two bounce houses, a Bubble Bus, free food, and a DJ for live music.

     In the midst of the festivities were opportunities for families to learn important information about resources in the community. The sidewalks surrounding the school’s courtyard were lined up with more than 50 vendors including St. Louis Community College, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, Parents as Teachers, Wyman Center, Red Dough, and First Tee.

     Inside the high school’s North Hall were free health screenings and immunizations courtesy of Affinia Healthcare, which operates a health center on the Normandy High campus. The health center is available to all Normandy students, families and staff. Local barbers provided free haircuts, and lunch was provided for those in attendance.

          Teachers and administrators from Normandy schools were also on-hand to provide parents information, school uniforms, and other materials. Normandy High School also hosted an Open House to introduce the new teachers and staff to students and families.

      And of course, Beyond Housing distributed more than 2,000 backpacks and school supplies to any student residing in the Normandy Schools Collaborative footprint.

     “Our staff works so hard to make this event a great one and I am so appreciative of their efforts to put together a first class event for our community,” said Chris Krehmeyer, President & CEO of Beyond Housing. “Helping families prepare for the first day of school sets the tone for the rest of the year. With the support of our volunteers, community and corporate partners, we hope we were able to help make that happen.”