GARLAND — With the start of school a few weeks away, members of the community are hosting a celebration for families preparing for that special time.
The Back-to-School Family Cookout is scheduled for 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4, at 3180 Lamb Road. Along with food and other goodies, some of the other attractions of the fun event include games, school supplies and a bounce house.
It’s sponsored by Rico Trucking of Garland; Bailey Trucking of Garland; Middy’s Vending of Raleigh; Kenneth Bailey Trucking of Garland; Team Valley of Garland; The Valleyboyz of Garland; and WIBs of Raleigh.
Mop Top Shop is also another major sponsor for the event. Its purpose is to expose children to STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education. It was founded by Jackie Johnson, a native of Garland. Johnson expressed how she’s looking forward to spending time with family and friends during the event, which will be a trial run for a bigger event in the future.
“We plan to provide a free Family & Friends Back to School event starting next year which will target kids, families, and communities that we have served in our (education camps), communities that may have limited resources, supplies, and materials for kids to attend school,” Johnson stated. “We would live to partner with families and kids who are working to better their communities.”
For summers beyond 2018, Johnson said they would like to host back-to-school events at places the Mop Top Shop previously visited. One of the recent educational camps was hosted at Tillery Chapel Missionary Baptist Church in Tillery. Participants learned about plants, germinated seeds and built prototypes for garden boxes. Cedar garden boxes were also made for a community garden. Johnson said it was an example of everyone “working together to better the community, physically, academically, and spiritually.”
Johnson has made several stops to her hometown of Garland, but the camp would also like to visit Clinton as well.
“We would like to reach out to Clinton too and all over Sampson County for students who don’t have those experiences,” Johnson said.
Reach Chase Jordan at 910-592-8137. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.