Community

Backpack bonanza at Mirror Lake

Nathanial Anderson, a second-grader at Mirror Lake, picks out a free backpack at a back-to-school festival at the school. Six hundred backpacks filled with school supplies were given out to Mirror Lake families last weekend. - Margo Hoffman/The Mirror
Nathanial Anderson, a second-grader at Mirror Lake, picks out a free backpack at a back-to-school festival at the school. Six hundred backpacks filled with school supplies were given out to Mirror Lake families last weekend.
— image credit: Margo Hoffman/The Mirror

Students at Mirror Lake Elementary School are eager to go to school this year.

Volunteers at Mirror Lake last weekend figured out a way to get kids excited about going back to school with water slides, crafts, music, face-painting, backpack giveaways and free hot dogs.

The event aimed to create a sense of community among families who attend the school, said Dawn Nelson, a member of Grace Church and Community Care Ministries, which organized the event. It was the first of five similar events to be held at Mirror Lake this year.

“Everything that we do is free in an effort to bring the community in and create that family atmosphere,” Nelson said.

Churchgoers at Grace Church and other local churches donated school supplies and backpacks for the event. Nearly 600 backpacks were given away to Mirror Lake students and their families.

“There was such a huge need in the community,” Nelson said. “We don’t want any of the kids starting the school year without the supplies they need.”

Mirror Lake principal Kent Cross said he was thrilled with the support from local churches and Mirror Lake staff.

“A lot of our parents are really busy and as a result of that the community comes in and fills the gap,” he said.

Cross said he and the staff at Mirror Lake generate community support by approaching local churches and businesses and asking for help.

“We have to communicate our needs,” he said. “We actively recruit.”

Lindsey Carioto, a parent who attended the event last weekend, said it was nice meet other parents and families at Mirror Lake.

“It’s a good community outreach event,” she said. “I think it’s a great way to get some of the kids involved and excited about school.”

Contact Margo Hoffman: mhoffman@fedwaymirror.com or (253) 925-5565.

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