( ENSPIRE COMMUNITY ) Back-to-school rally in Ansonia Sunday for all Valley students
ANSONIA >> Valley students gearing up to head back to class can get free backpacks, haircuts and food, shoot some hoops and more this weekend, courtesy of a local youth organization.
According to VSOY Chairman Leonard Duffus, the event will kick off with a free youth basketball tournament at 10 a.m., followed by the back-to-school rally at 2 p.m. Valley students entering pre-kindergarten though twelfth grade are welcome to join the event. Registration to receive a free backpack, filled with school supplies, will begin at noon. The rain date is Aug. 23.
TEAM Inc. is sponsoring the rally this year, Duffus said.
Thanks to annual donations from TEAM, along with fundraising events held by VSOY, lots of Valley schoolchildren will go back to school in style. Duffus said in addition to receiving a free backpack, full of pens, pencils, paper and other essentials, kids can get free haircuts, courtesy of local licensed barbers. There will be free food, music by a local DJ and a moon bounce for younger kids.
Community leaders will be on hand during the rally, offering remarks as thousands of Valley kids get ready to hit the books.
“This event is important because it brings our community together each year,” Duffus said. “More importantly, the rally emphasizes the significance of staying in school, making good choices in life and post high school education.”
Duffus said this year’s rally also will feature raffles, a voter registration table and a career fair for high school students, exposing them to a variety of choices for their futures.
“Valley Save Our Youth also holds this event each year to let our community and youth from the Valley know that we care about them and their futures,” Duffus added. “Members of this group have grown up in the Valley and a majority of us still reside in Ansonia. We want our youth to be successful and lead happy and fulfilled lives.”
Children and adults are welcome to participate in the free basketball tournament, which is scheduled to run until 5 p.m. To sign up, players are asked to call Carlino Monteiro at 203-889-8949.
Duffus said VSOY is hoping to make this year’s rally bigger and better than ever.
“The increasing turnout for each rally and assisting in some way to get our youth ready for school, is what motivates us,” Duffus said. “Honestly, it’s just a lot of fun! It’s a peaceful event, and it’s just so nice to see people you’ve grown up with. It’s our way of giving back to our community like so many of those have before us. The best part is seeing hundreds of kids enjoying themselves and proudly carrying around the backpacks they received.”
For more information about the rally, or to make a donation, call Duffus at 203-278-3775.
More information is available on VSOY’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/valleysaveouryouth.