Children chase a large beach ball in the foreground as families mingle with community partners in the back.

First Annual Back to School Bash Provides Resources and Fun for Families

On September 11, 2021, HRHA hosted the first annual Back to School Bash for Franklin Heights Families. HRHA worked with 10 community partners to create an event that was fun, safe, and helpful for families. We had a wonderful turnout and the weather as near perfect. Neighborhood children helped clean up the area for the event and community partners started arriving around 4:00pm to set up their stations. The event was held in the grassy area behind the Reservoir Street apartments near Kiwanis Park.

Children were invited to take a ‘passport’ that include the names of each partner at the event. Children then went table to table or activity to activity to get a stamp from each partner. Competed passports earned them a goodie bag from HRHA that included pencils, snacks, and coupons.

We are incredibly grateful to the following agencies and community groups who partnered with us this year. They include:

  • The Ice Cream Pedaler who provided home made ice cream made by bicycle!
  • Harrisonburg Baptist Church who brought a popcorn machine and all sorts of yard games. The big beach ball was a huge hit.
  • Massanutten Regional Library who brought books and signs ups for library cards.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters who spoke with families about their programs, including the new Sports Buddies Program. The even brought donuts and inflatable bowling.
  • Jones Garden who had children and families brush up on their herb identification with a matching game.
  • The Gus Bus, a regular in our neighborhoods, who had all sorts of goodies and learning materials.
  • Students in the Harrisonburg High School Governor’s STEM Academy who held paper airplane making and launching tutorials.
  • Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation who held DIY lava lamp making demos.
  • Boys and Girls Club who shared about scholarship opportunities for our families.
  • Central Shenandoah Health District (CSHD) who shared vaccine information with residents while having face to face conversations on vaccine hesitancy and safety.

HRHA also gave out school kits and supplies thanks to the support of United Way.

Hope to see you next year!

Heidi with Harrisonburg Baptist poses with a bag of popcorn next to a red popcorn machine.

Heidi from Harrisonburg Baptist Church poses with a bag of popcorn.

A family talks with Elizabeth from Big Brothers Big Sisters at a table.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Harrisonburg-Rockingham County shared about their new Sports Buddies program (and had donuts and lawn bowling).

An employee with the Virginia Department of Health and a young girl stand side by side at the VDH table under a canopy.

Central Shenandoah Health District (CSHD) shared vaccine information with residents while having face to face conversations on vaccine hesitancy and safety.

David King sits on top of the bike he uses to make ice cream.

David King, the Ice Cream Pedaler, churns a fresh batch of homemade ice cream while HHS students study the process.

Kids stand on four corners of a 5ft high 4-square volleyball net.

Naomi of Jones Garden and Franklin Heights children try their hands at a game of volleyball 4-square.

David King of the Ice Cream Pedaler stands with two HHS students at the Back to School Bash under a canopy.

David King (right) and HSS STEM students served up bike-made ice cream.