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By Robert Connors
Managing Editor 

Polk State Offers Free Backpacks, School Supplies for K-12 Students

Give-away Event Happens July 23 at Lake Wales Campus

 

Last updated 7/28/2022 at 9:31pm

Free backpacks filled with supplies are the draw for the first 700 students who attend the July 23 event at Polk State College Lake Wales. Free haircuts, drawings, and an exhibit of fire-fighting equipment will also take place. A portion of Central Avenue will be closed during the event.

Students heading back to school will get a welcome boost as 700 backpacks full of school supplies are given away to students from kindergarten through college age. The event marks the return of the Polk State College "Start Right" campaign and includes free school supplies, haircuts, food, and more for students and their families ahead of the 2022-2023 Academic Year.

The event will begin at 9:00 am on Saturday July 23 at Polk State College's JD Alexander Center, 152 E. Central Avenue in downtown Lake Wales. The event is open to the public and will include a number of fun activities for every grade. A portion of Central Avenue west of Scenic Highway will be closed for capacity and the exhibition of fire engines by Lake Wales Fire Department..

According to Polk State College spokesperson Madison E. Fantozzi, "the Start Right Campaign was launched in 2017 as a partnership between the Polk State JD Alexander Center and the Polk State Foundation to help meet the needs of students and families in the Lake Wales community and thank them for their support of Polk State."

The Covid-19 pandemic had prevented the event in recent years, but now "it's returning with more backpacks and giveaways than ever, due to both increased demand and support," Fantozzi said..

Duke Energy and The Freedom Tour are this year's premier sponsors. Sponsorships also include Citizens Bank & Trust and GST: The Family Church. Faded Fresh and Gifted Cutz Barbershop will provide students with free haircuts, and the Start Right Campaign will be giving away a grill and patio set donated by The Freedom Tour.

Individuals interested in supporting the Polk State Start Right Campaign can donate online here, or contact District Dean of Workforce Education & Economic Development Dr. Andy Oguntola, who serves as director of the JD Alexander Center, at [email protected] or 863.298.6831.

 

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