Back to School Information Fair

There’s still a few weeks of summer vacation left, but Hill AFB’s military parents can get some of their school shopping out of the way – for free – at a Back-to-School Information Fair Aug. 2.

The fair will be held 4:30-6:30 p.m., at Centennial Park and will offer backpacks and school supplies to DEERS-enrolled military dependent children in grades kindergarten to 12th grade.

“This is a family event,” said Tracie Atkins, Hill AFB’s school liaison officer. “There will be games for the children to participate in, and parents can gather information about everything from school and sports physicals and immunizations to before- and after-school programs.”

Pre-registration for the event is required and available two ways:

• Through Operation Homefront, a non-profit organization, for families of E-1 to E-6 active duty, Guard and Reserves and post 9/11 wounded, ill or injured of all ranks. Registration by family and child can be done at www.operationhomefront.net/event/list. Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis while supplies last.

• Through the A&FRC for those not eligible for Operation Homefront (all other active duty ranks and retirees) and those E-1s to E-6s unable to register through Operation Homefront. Registration can be done by calling the dedicated phone line at (801) 777-2863. Deadline to register is July 28 or until supplies run out.

The company Teleperformance is donating backpacks and school supplies so more Hill families can participate.

“Last year, we had more than 1,000 participants,” Atkins said. “There are only limited quantities of the backpacks and supplies available, so I encourage those interested to register now.”

 Atkins says there are advantages for mom/dad to also bring their children to the fair.

“If just mom or dad comes and the registered children are not present, they will only be given a maximum of two backpacks per family,” Atkins said. “But if all the registered children attend, they can all pick up a backpack and choose a variety of school supplies.

Atkins said the event will especially help those new to the area.

“At the A&FRC, we’re resource and referral,” she said. “We will have information about both on- and off-base resources – information about 4-H activities, Boys and Girls Clubs, the Exceptional Family Member Program and special education information.

“This will be a fun-filled event,” she added, “and we hope families will come out and take advantage of it. It’s backpacks and school supplies, something less that families have to spend money on that could go toward other things that they may need for their child for school, like clothing. This will allow them to put their money in other areas.”