The Third Annual Pencils in the Park will distribute 5,000 backpacks filled with school supplies from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 13, at Davis Park, 320 S. Wyman, Rockford.
Families and children are encouraged to attend the event for the distribution of backpacks, as well as for the opportunity to enjoy the festival-type day with activities including ice skating and a spelling bee. A variety of contests and games will take place with winners receiving prizes.
Free haircuts, food, nail painting, local college representatives, numerous community resource booths, and entertainment will also be available.
Rockford Life Center, in collaboration with Rockford Ald. Ann Thompson-Kelly (D-7), the City of Rockford, Wal-Mart, RAVE, Ellis Heights Weed & Seed, Neighborhood Network, Comcast, Rockford Park District and the Diamond Cut Rider organization are the organizers of the event. Previously, the event was held at Fairgrounds Park.
Angela Harris, director of Business Development for Life Center, explained: “Life Center began collecting backpacks and school supplies through the well-known program ‘Tools for School’ seven years ago. The program has now grown to a massive community-driven project, with a mission to ‘equip our kids for success.’
“The staggering statistic of 78 percent of students registered in Rockford’s District 205 that receive free and/or reduced lunches is the motivation behind this impactful event,” Harris added. “Providing students with the tools necessary for learning fundamentally strengthens their path toward success and ultimately strengthens the Rockford community.”
From the Aug. 10-16, 2011, issue