Back to School Bash 2017 will provide free school supplies and haircuts for students in need from Woodland and Kalama

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Woodland Public Schools announces the Back to School Bash 2017 event offering free backpacks, school supplies, and haircuts as well as free entertainment and refreshments for students in need from both Woodland and Kalama School Districts on Saturday, August 12 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Woodland High School.

The Back to School Bash provides free school supplies and haircuts to students in need from Woodland and Kalama School Districts on August 12 from 3-6 p.m. at Woodland High School
The Back to School Bash provides free school supplies and haircuts to students in need from Woodland and Kalama School Districts on August 12 from 3-6 p.m. at Woodland High School

The Promise Church in Woodland initially started the Back to School Bash three years ago in order to provide school supplies to families in need along with many other churches and organizations distributing supplies separately. "Last year, Woodland Public Schools teamed up to harness the support of the community by holding one large event," explained Leslie Mohlman, Community, Family, Student Resource Coordinator for Woodland Public Schools and Project Coordinator for the Back to School Bash. "At last year's event, the Bash distributed more than 425 backpacks and had 1,000 people in attendance!"

This year, Woodland Public Schools partnered with Kalama School District to offer supplies for students in need from both districts and expand the reach of the program with more than 700 backpacks on-hand. "The Back to School Bash is even larger in scale this year," said Mohlman. "We want to help alleviate some of the stress back-to-school time can cause for families with so many families living paycheck-to-paycheck; we want everyone to feel welcome to attend and partake of this opportunity!"

In addition to school supplies and haircuts, the Back to School Bash features free refreshments and entertainment such as face-painting, a favorite at last year's Bash
In addition to school supplies and haircuts, the Back to School Bash features free refreshments and entertainment such as face-painting, a favorite at last year's Bash

Each student will receive a high-quality backpack and can also select from a wide variety of school supplies including pencils, crayons, three-hole folders, three-ring binders, index cards, bottles of glue, college-ruled notebook paper, colored pencils, markers, erasers, glue sticks, pens, pencil pouches, highlighters, composition notebooks, scissors, watercolor paints, and much, much more. Students can also receive free haircuts from community hairstylists volunteering their time along with stylists from the Jeffery Manning Academy. "We have about eight hairstylists who will attend and hope to provide more than 100 haircuts to students on a first-come, first-served basis," said Mohlman. "Local salons have also donated vouchers for students to receive haircuts for free."

In order to provide the most supplies and resources for the most students, event organizers researched the best prices to procure school supplies at the lowest cost. "We were able to obtain full sets of school supplies and backpacks for only $20 a student," said Mohlman. "By keeping costs low and buying in bulk, the Back to School Bash can provide supplies and services to that many more students in need."

The Woodland Public Library will attend the event with free books for students to take home. "Research shows that having books in the home and reading to your child are two of the most important factors in helping a student achieve academic and lifetime success," said Mohlman. "Unfortunately, nearly two-thirds of low-income families do not own a single childrens book so the Woodland Public Library is seeking to help remedy that by providing gently-used books to families for free."

Each student receives a high-quality backpack and can select from a wide variety of school supplies generously donated by community members, along with local businesses and churches from both Woodland and Kalama
Each student receives a high-quality backpack and can select from a wide variety of school supplies generously donated by community members, along with local businesses and churches from both Woodland and Kalama

Refreshments and entertainment make the Back to School Bash much more than just a time to get school supplies with Sodexo Food Services donating employee time to run the event and also donating funds to cover half of the event's food costs. "Sodexo has been incredibly generous in their support for this event, providing a summer barbeque featuring hamburgers, corndogs, chips, and drinks," said Mohlman. "The Bash is a party-like atmosphere with games and events; our intent is to cater to the entire K-12 community so we welcome students of all ages to attend."

In addition to the support from employees at Woodland Public Schools and Kalama School District, local churches and community organizations help support the event with fundraising and donations. Some of the many organizations generously donating to the event include Clark County Fire Department, Clover Valley Community Church, Columbia River Carbonates, Corwin Beverage Company, Grace Community Church, Housing Opportunities of Southwest Washington, Jeffery Manning Academy, Kalama Baptist Church, the Promise Church, Sodexo Food Services, the Woodland Action Center, the Woodland LDS Church, the Woodland Presbyterian Church. "Thanks to the support of so many community members and organizations, we plan to make this year's Back to School Bash the biggest, yet," said Mohlman.

Woodland Public Schools invites Woodland and Kalama students and their families to attend the Back to School Bash 2017 on Saturday, August 12 from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Woodland High School located at 1500 Dike Access Road, Woodland, WA 98674. Community members and organizations interested in donating to the event can make donations online at www.woodlandaction.org or by contacting Leslie Mohlman via email at mohlmanl@woodlandpublicschools.org or by telephone at (360) 841-2718.

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