GARY | In this case, the early bird gets not the worm, but pencils and notebooks. The first 300 students who arrive will receive free school supplies at a Back-to-School Jamboree beginning at 8:30 a.m. Saturday at Indiana University Northwest
"The Back-to-School Jamboree has become a tradition for our community," said State Rep. Vernon G. Smith (D-Gary). "Offering school supplies is more important than ever as families struggle to survive this economic recession. I am very appreciative of the generosity of the sponsors who make this event possible.
"The Back-to-School Jamboree is also fun," added Dr. Smith. There are activities for all ages, including a three-on-three basketball tournament. Competition will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. inside Savannah Hall Gymnasium on the IUN campus at 3400 Broadway. A film festival will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. inside Savannah Hall Auditorium. There also will be a dance competition, Double Dutch Jump Rope competition and a video game tournament. Music for dancing will be provided by Sunny Black from noon to 5.
Younger children can have their faces painted, finger paint and participate in a drawing contest.
Area youth-serving agencies will host exhibit booths to share what they can offer students. Booths are available to organizations that offer youth services or have products to sell for $25 and $35. Call Smith at (219) 887-2046 for more information.
The basketball tournament has several divisions, each based on gender and age. The $30 team registration fee helps defray costs for trophies and other prizes. Each participant will receive a free T-shirt. Applications are available at Beautiful Things store, 3570 Village Court.
The jamboree is sponsored by Smith, the African-American Achievers Youth Corps, Inc., Haywood Flemings & Associates, the Gary Crusader, 411 News, State Farm Insurance, Save More Foods, U.S. Steel, Majestic Star, the Lake County Office of Family and Children Services, and Methodist Hospital.
- For The Times