Area students will have a host of opportunities to get the new school year off to a flying start at the free Back-to-School Jamboree sponsored by State Rep. Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary) that will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, September 14, on the campus of Indiana University Northwest, 3400 Broadway.
“The Jamboree is designed to welcome students back to school for another year, and give their families a chance to find out the many services and resources that are available in the community to help their children throughout the year,” Smith said.
“What this event does is help show to our young people that education has the power to change the world by providing the key that can unlock the riches that are within themselves,” he continued. “At the same time, they have the chance to get together with students from around the area to have some fun.”
The event itself will be centered in the Savannah Hall Gymnasium/Auditorium on the IU Northwest campus.
“There will be a host of activities for children of all ages, including finger and face painting, a drawing contest, a video game tournament, jump rope and dance competitions, a film festival, and a three-on-three basketball tournament,” Smith said.
In addition, the first 300 children at the event will receive a backpack with free school supplies.
The basketball tournament, one of the mainstays for the Jamboree, will run from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Savannah Hall Gymnasium. This event does include a $30 registration fee to ensure a position on the tournament schedule. Application forms can be obtained by visiting the Beautiful Things store at 3570 Village Court in Gary or by calling Smith at 219-887-2046.
Area agencies will have exhibit booths and pass out information detailing what the organizations offer students. Booths will be available for rental to groups that offer youth services or have products to sell. For additional information, contact Smith at 219-887-2046.
The Jamboree is sponsored by Smith; the African-American Achievers Youth Corps, Inc.; the IU Dons, Inc.; Indiana University Northwest; Haywood and Fleming Associates Insurance Agency; the Gary Crusader; the Gary 411 News; Geminus Corporation; Fresh County Market; Nipsco; MetroPCS; Lil Lou’s Beauty and Barber College; ArcelorMittal; BP Amoco; Majestic Star Casino; U.S. Steel; National Hookup of Black Women, Inc.; and the Gary Literacy Foundation.