‘Back to school’ celebration set for Saturday

DOVER –– In anticipation of the start of a new school year, Calvary Baptist Church and Mt. Zion AME Church are throwing a community-wide celebration on Saturday.

In the past the churches have held separate August back-to-school events but decided to work in collaboration this year to maximize their efforts and pull off one large event.

“We realized it was time to start working together collectively because we each put forward a lot of effort separately and knew we could do a lot more together,” Rev. Dr. John G. Moore Sr. of Calvary Baptist said.

The events kick off at 9:30 a.m. Saturday with a free outdoor breakfast for kids and teens followed by a 10 a.m. workshop for kids at Mt. Zion and a workshop for parents and guardians at Calvary Baptist.

Kids will get tips and inspirational talks to get them through the upcoming school year and parents and families will be able to talk to Capital School District administrators and staff who will be on site and at the workshop.

“It’s a chance for young people to see that the community –– people they don’t even know yet believe in them and are here to support their education,” Rev. Moore said. “You see the community get together to back important issues all the time, but there’s never anything like this for education.”

After all the serious business is out of the way, the celebration will begin with an opening prayer from AME’s Rev. Ellis B. Louden and remarks from Mayor Robin Christiansen and Capital School District Superintendent Dan Shelton.

Once the welcome ceremony wraps up, there will be plenty of fun activities like face painting, a moon bounce and games lining Fulton Street near the churches, which will be closed to traffic.

Grills will be fired up at noon in the Calvary parking lot where Dover Air Force airmen, the Men of Calvary and community volunteers will serve hot dogs and hamburgers until 2 p.m.

Contributions toward breakfast and lunch were made by parishioners of both Calvary and Mt. Zion over the past several months.

Other donations to the event include more than 200 backpacks with school supplies. Some were purchased through a grant from Walmart and others were donated.  The backpacks are available for kids from kindergarten through grade 12.

The giveaway is from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and the student must be present to pick up the supplies.

The event will run from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fulton Street in Dover between West and New streets.

“We want to continue this unity past the start of the school year,” Rev. Moore said. “We want to remain unified and be able to work together when it comes to addressing difficult issues in our community in the future.”

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