Walton Theater to host special back to school event Thursday

Published 9:46 pm Monday, July 31, 2017

The days are numbered until the new school year begins, and there are several events over the next few days to get students and parents excited about the new school year.

The Walton Theater will host its “Back 2 School Movie-Thon” Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., giving students a chance to hang out at the movies.

Pastor John Grayson, leader of the volunteer group, ATAP, which runs the theater, said they usually do a school supply giveaway at Gospel Tabernacle Church of God in Christ, but this year he decided to do it at the movies instead.

“Our summer movie blast that we normally do on Thursdays has gone so well, and we’ve had such good crowds I thought we’d do it all day and give it to the kids free and let them come and enjoy themselves,” Grayson said.

The event, which is free to the public, will have all-day movies, school supplies, hot dogs, haircuts and more.

Teachers have also been invited to talk to students and their parents throughout the day.

Grayson said he has talked to some students over the last few weeks that are excited for school to start back, but he has also talked to some who are not as upbeat about it.

“What’s important for us is to build them up and encourage them to be excited about going back,” Grayson said.

“We want them to have high expectations. We want them to be excited and look forward to going to school and look forward to achieving and acquiring as much education as they possibly can.”

Grayson said ATAP is excited about the new school year and wants to make sure children have the supplies they need to get started.

“When kids go back to school, and they don’t have the efficient supplies and book bag, they don’t feel good. They’re embarrassed, and they start off sort of behind the eight ball, and they’re not set up for success,” he said. “We want to set them up for success, let them come in and relax and have fun.”

Money Tax Service is holding its annual back to school giveaway on Saturday from 3-7 p.m. at 1509 Broad Street.

Kiremia Lee said it is something the business has done over the last several years.

“We always do it as just a way to say thank you and here’s a helping hand from our company to you,” Lee said.

“Here in our community we have lots of families with single parents or multiple children, and everybody goes through hard times. It’s actually a great thing.”

Lee said the business gives out book bags with pens, paper, composition books, pencils and more.

There will also be food and drinks, as well as music from Hot 105.7 FM with prizes.

“We have a lot of fun. It’s always a big turnout,” Lee said. “We give away a lot of book bags. We pack these bags for about two weeks.”

The city’s river rally will be held during the same time from 4-7 p.m. at the Riverfront Amphitheater.

There will be free food, games, music, school supplies and more.

“We want to make sure everyone in the community is down there on that day. It’s going to be fun,” said Mayor Darrio Melton on his Facebook Live segment last week. “There’s going to be games out there, and we’re also going to be giving away school supplies to all of our kids who show up.”

All three events are free and open to everyone.