Having a big time… Hundreds show up for Elizabethton Back to School Bash

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, August 6, 2019




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When the school bell rings on Thursday to start a new school year for the Elizabethton City Schools, the first thing that everyone will notice is a sea of colorfully trimmed, clear backpacks that students will be carrying to their classes. Thanks to a large group of sponsors and supporters, this was made possible on Saturday as the Elizabethton School System held its fourth annual Back to School Bash at Citizens Bank Stadium.

The lines were forming early at the school as some parents and students arrived as early as 7 a.m. for the 9 a.m. gate opening where students could choose between pink, green, blue, purple or black trimmed backpacks as well as receive a free pair of socks at their first stop.

After picking up their backpacks and socks, the group was welcomed onto the field as they passed through the Cyclone football helmet and were greeted by the Elizabethton varsity cheerleaders. With an array of activities available to participate in from inflatables to the popular Elizabethton Police Department obstacle course and bicycle course, students took full advantage of enjoying themselves.

Over 25 booths were set up throughout the stadium offering information to help students and their families throughout the school year with giveaways plentiful for everyone on hand. A couple of the most attended booths were the free hot dog tent handled by an army of volunteers from East River Park Christian Church who handed out hot dogs, chips, and drinks to fill the hungry crowd. The church also helped distribute the backpacks and socks. Also, the haircut booth provided by Jenny Lea Academy had a long line of parents ready to get a fresh back-to-school haircut for their children. Local colleges, including King, Milligan, and ETSU were also on hand to answer any questions that the high school students may have had regarding post-secondary education.

What makes the event so special according to Elizabethton School Director Dr. Corey Gardenhour is the community coming together to help the kids get the year off on the right foot. “It’s awesome because it’s such a community event,” Dr. Gardenhour said. “Anytime you start your year focusing on the students having an even playing field, it’s the absolute best. This is our opening in-service as we do a lot different than a lot of other systems. We just try to serve the community from the very get-go. A big goal is to make sure the students feel comfortable and they have a really good start to the school year.

“We obviously are going to not only supply them with school supplies today but this event helps to resupply school supplies throughout the year,” Dr. Gardenhour continued. “We want to thank all our sponsors who can be found on our website. We want to say thank you to the community as well because everything that happens today is 100 percent donations from the community and we have approximately 45 businesses that sees it in their heart to give to our students.

“It’s just not school supplies either because there are about 26 vendors who offer free opportunities for students to get anything from dental care to medical care and those vendors are here to help students in need.

“Today is one of the best days of the year for us. The kids are what make the school year.”