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It’s not too early to start thinking about Back to School

Families interested in receiving services should return application before June 24

Even though school just let out for the summer, we are already talking about going back to school, or at least going to the Back to School Fair.

The fourth annual Grundy County Back to School Fair will be held on Saturday, July 27.

The Grundy County Back to School Fair provides school supplies and medical services to low income families with school age children in Grundy County — all at no cost to the family. Qualifying families will have access to school supplies, dental screenings, vision screenings, school/sports physicals, new shoes, books and community resources for children and families.

Last year’s fair provided 391 children with school supplies, 163 vision screenings, 103 dental check-ups, 30 physicals, 8 immunizations and 373 new pairs of shoes. In addition, thanks to Illinois Central Bus Company and Grundy County Transit System, 31 individuals received free transportation to and from the event.

There are some changes to the fair this year. The biggest being the change in location. The past three years, the Back to School Fair was held at First Christian Church in Morris, which was a great location. However, the committee decided to move the fair outside of Morris this year; therefore, this year’s fair will be held at the Coal City Early Childhood Center in Coal City.

Another small change this year is that immunizations are unable to be given onsite this year; however, the Grundy County Health Department will be onsite to give families information they need regarding immunizations.

We Care of Grundy County and Operation St. Nick are currently working to identify families with school age children who are in need and would benefit from this event. Families will be contacted by an automated phone call of where to pick up and drop off completed applications. If you are a low-income family interested in accessing services, but did not received an automated call, you will need to contact We Care at (815) 942-6389. Applications can be downloaded from We Care’s website and must be returned no later than June 24.

United Way of Grundy County is organizing a book drive again this year. It is a great time to clean off your bookshelves and help feed a child’s growing mind. Books should be new or gently used appropriate for pre-school through high school aged children. United Way has several book drop-off locations, including Coal City Early Childhood Center, First Midwest Bank in Morris, Minooka Village Hall, Centrue Bank on Broadway in Coal City, United Way of Grundy County Office, Grundy County Chamber of Commerce Offices in Morris and Minooka, as well as the Standard Bank on Route 6.

Child Care Resource and Referral will be set up in the parking lot of the Coal City Early Childhood Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the day of the event to offer free car seat safety checks to anyone, not just those attending the fair. We encourage all parents, grandparents, and even babysitters who have car seats installed in their cars to stop by to ensure they are installed properly.

Organizations who serve Grundy County children and families are encouraged to participate in the resource expo at the Back to School Fair. If you are interested in participating in the expo and need more information, feel free to contact Devan at

The Back to School Fair Committee anticipates helping over 400 children this year. We look forward to another successful year with an event that helps so many Grundy County families.

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