School Fair Meets Families’ Needs

Susie Baker of the Marshall County Parent Education Resource Center and volunteers are preparing for hundreds of Marshall County children and their parents to attend the 11th annual Back to School Fun Fair on Tuesday at the former West Virginia Penitentiary.

Numerous vendors will be present from 8 a.m. to noon to offer everything county students need for the first day of school – including backpacks, school supplies, hygienic items, hair cuts and health screenings – free of charge. According to Baker, who coordinates the event, all items given to students have been donated by local businesses, organizations and individuals.

“The county has always seen the importance of the back to school fun fair,” Baker said. “You wouldn’t have a line of hundreds of people waiting for a backpack if there wasn’t a need for that backpack. It’s been a great year, because we’ve had so much support.”

Baker said the fair sees hundreds of families every year. There is no income limit for families. Students from preschool to 12th grade are welcome and must be with an adult.

Hundreds of donated bottles of shampoo, soap, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes and breakfast foods and other items are available to give away, Baker said. Every child will receive a backpack as well as pencils, crayons, scissors, loose-leaf paper, folders, binders, notebooks and gym bags for older students.

Students also will be able to get free health screenings, dental checks and head lice checks, and families can register for preschool and kindergarten with representatives from Marshall County Schools. Free haircuts from Sheer Friends of Moundsville will available as well.

For entertainment, there will be face painting and free pizza, soda and popsicles available. Families also have a chance to win prizes including a movie basket, a trip to Kennywood for a family of four, gas cards, a Samsung tablet and Wal-Mart and Kroger gift cards.

“I grew up poor and I was the kid that didn’t have those things for the first day of school, and that’s why I decided to do this,” Baker said. “The easiest job I could ever do is help families. I would have the fair on my front porch if we needed to.”

For more information, call Baker at 304-843-4457.