State Rep. Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary) said the first 300 students who attend the Back-to-School Jamboree will receive free school supplies. The Jamboree begins at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 17 on the Indiana University Northwest (IU Northwest) campus.
“For several years, we’ve offered school supplies for students who arrive early at the Back-to-School Jamboree,” said Dr. Smith. “Many families find it a blessing to receive these items, which are donated by our generous sponsors, because the cost of school supplies can be significant.”
Dr. Smith added that booth rentals are still available for vendors. “Being a vendor offers a unique opportunity to businesses and area agencies who want to market their goods to school families,” continued Dr. Smith. “Businesses and agencies are able to demonstrate their products as well as explain the services they offer. The booth rental is first-come, first-served, so I would recommend reserving one as soon as possible to get the best location. Good sites are still available. Call me at 887-2046 to sign up today.”
In addition, Dr. Smith said registration for the Three-on-Three Basketball Tournament continues. He emphasized that early registration saves money and guarantees a spot on the tournament schedule. The games will take place inside the Savannah Hall Gymnasium on the IU Northwest campus from 8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m.
“If a team completes a pre-registration form and gives it to me before the event, the cost will be only $30 per team,” added Dr. Smith. “If the teams wait until the day of the event, the cost will be $45. The fee helps defray the cost of the players’ t-shirts as well as the lunches, trophies, and other prizes. The hiring of referees also comes from the fee. I would highly recommend taking a few minutes and pre-register for the tournament.”
Besides calling 887-2046, one can also stop by the Beautiful Things store at 4335 Broadway in Gary to fill out an application and submit the tournament fee.
Dr. Smith mentioned there will be activities for students of all ages. For younger children, there will be finger painting, a drawing contest, and face painting. For older youth, there will be a Double Dutch Jump Rope Contest, a video game tournament and a dance competition. In addition, there will be a film festival scheduled from 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Inside the Savannah Hall Auditorium, a DJ will provide music for dancing from noon-5 p.m.
The Jamboree is sponsored by Dr. Smith, the African-American Achievers Youth Corps, Inc., Indiana University Northwest, Haywood & Fleming Associates Insurance Agency, the Gary Crusader, the 411 News, Geminus Corporation, Petro Travel Center, Hardrock Casino, Fresh Country Market LLC, Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males, and Smith, Bizzell, and Warner Funeral Home.