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Gagliardo: Applications are being accepted for Back to School Fair

Published: Monday, June 16, 2014 9:07 p.m. CDT

MORRIS – We are excited to announce the fifth annual Grundy County Back to School Fair will be held Aug. 2 at the Coal City Early Childhood Center.   

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 288 children with school supplies, 275 vision screenings, 65 dental checkups, 29 physicals and 288 new pairs of shoes. In addition, thanks to Illinois Central Bus Company and Grundy County Transit System, 28 individuals received free transportation to and from the event. 

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. Families who did not receive an automated call can still receive assistance. Hard copies of the application can be found at all Grundy County Standard Bank locations, Morris Area Public Library, Coal City Public Library and We Care of Grundy County. 

Families also can download applications from We Care’s website, www.wecareofgrundy.com or at the Coal City library’s website, www.ccpld.org. Applications must be returned by July 7.  If you have questions regarding the application, contact We Care at 815-942-6389.

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 and appropriate for children in preschool through high school. United Way has several book drop-off locations: Coal City Early Childhood Center, First Midwest Bank in Morris, Minooka Village Hall, Centrue Bank on Broadway in Coal City, the United Way of Grundy County Office, Grundy County Chamber of Commerce offices in Morris and Minooka, Grundy County Administrative Building and Standard Bank on Route 6.

In addition to services provided for qualifying families, there also are two services available to all community members the day of the fair. Child Care Resource and Referral will be set up in the parking lot of the Coal City Early Childhood Center the day of the event to offer free car seat safety checks. We encourage all parents, grandparents, and even baby sitters who have car seats installed in their cars to stop by to ensure they are installed properly.  Easter Seals will have licensed developmental therapist available at the fair to perform free developmental screenings for children from birth to age 3. 

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 information, contact Devan at devan@cfgrundycounty.com.

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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