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Back-to-School Bash changes locations

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Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2019 12:00 pm

An annual celebration designed to help youngsters and their families get ready to start school with a bang will be held by the Bandera Independent School District and a partner organization on Sunday, Aug. 4, at a new location – in Lakehills at the Lakehills Civic Center.

The district’s Back-to-School Bash, held in recent years at the Bandera Middle School, is moving to Lakehills in an attempt to make it easier for families in that heavily populated end of the county take part in the event and to demonstrate how committed the district is to serving students across Bandera County.

About 46 percent of the district’s elementary school students attend Hill County Elementary School, which serves the Lakehills area, but the district has never held back-to-school festivities in that southeastern end of the county.

So when the Hill Country Samaritans, an interdenominational community service organization based in Lakehills, came to the school district with the idea of holding the bash in that area, BISD decided it would be a good change.

“BISD has been great to work with,” said Kelly Beedle, the coordinator of the bash for the Hill Country Samaritans. “We’ve enjoyed seeing people come together for this.”

Barbara Engel, a Lakehills businesswoman and the president of the organization that owns and operates the Lakehills Civic Center, said the center was happy to take part in an event that is “fostering inclusion for the two ends of the county.”

The bash, a free event that will include backpack and school supplies giveaways along with the ability to register for BISD classes, learn about college opportunities in the area, listen to music and have some fun, is open to all pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students across the county, whether they are in public schools, private schools or are home schooled, officials said.

“It’s open to anybody,” said Beedle.  “We won’t check Zip Codes.”

The bash is set to run from 4-7 p.m.  It will offer a variety of information about school lunch services, transportation and other school operations along with tutoring opportunities and services available in the community.

Physicals for students will be offered for a $10 charge – which could be the only service offered at the event that charges a fee – and other exams like blood pressure screening will be available as will vaccinations.

All the BISD campuses will be represented at the event to talk about the programs offered there, and representatives from the PTOs from those schools also will be on hand.

Schreiner University in Kerrville also will have a representative present to answer questions about learning opportunities there, and the Alamo Colleges District in San Antonio will have a staffed trailer at the event to help students understand what they need to do to prepare for college.

Face painting, bouncy houses and other fun activities also are planned to keep the youngsters entertained, live music is planned, and a food trailer will be set up giving away hot dogs, officials said.

Beedle said she believes the event will have “more of a party feel” than past back-to-school events.

For families who might have a hard time travelling to Lakehills on Sunday, BISD will send two buses to the civic center at 3:30 p.m. that day from Bandera Middle School, which is at 1005 Cherry St. in Bandera.

One of the buses will return to the middle school at 5:30 p.m. The other bus will come back to Bandera at 7 p.m.

The civic center in Lakehills is at 11225 PR 37.   More information about the bash is available on the BISD website, www.banderaisd.net.

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