Church, YMCA make back-to-school difference

August 26, 2019
by Paul B. Johnson

HIGH POINT — As they each prepare for their sons’ to return to school, Marie Oxce and Tashauna Green know that every dollar counts.

That’s why both women counted their good fortune as they received free school supplies at a back-to-school giveaway Saturday morning in High Point. They were among hundreds of parents and schoolchildren who came to the Carl Chavis Branch of the High Point YMCA for the Back To School Bash.

The event was organized by the YMCA branch and GracePoint Church of High Point, which served as a primary cosponsor and had dozens of volunteers helping hand out donations.

Oxce came to the Back To School Bash with her son Wesley, a sixth-grader at The Point College Preparatory and Leadership Academy. Green arrived with her son, Tayshaun, who will go to kindergarten in the new school year.

Both women said the free school supplies will make a difference as they map out their expenses for the school year.

“It’s something less you have to worry about,” Green told The High Point Enterprise.

A line of parents and children waited outside the Carl Chavis Branch gymnasium for the bookbag handout that began at 11 a.m. The goal was to give away between 800 and 1,000 bookbags depending on the demand.

The bookbags included a variety of school supplies and were designed for different grade levels — one set for elementary school students, another for middle school students and another for high school students, said Carlvena Foster, the YMCA branch executive director.

“We want to get all these kids off to a great start,” Foster told The Enterprise.

Traditional calendar schools in Guilford County, as well as most school districts in the Piedmont Triad, begins Monday.

In addition to the bookbags, the Back To School Bash featured a clothes giveaway in the gym. The donations of school supplies and clothes allow parents to funnel dollars to other needs for their children, said Foster, who also serves as a Guilford County commissioner.

GracePoint’s Josh Lewis said the church welcomes the chance to contribute as a new school year commences.

“We want to give back to the community,” he said. “We want to give children hope.”