Por William R. Wynn | TULSA, OK
The annual back to school fair organized by the Coalition of Hispanic Organizations (COHO) was held last weekend and was once again a huge success. Hundreds of school age kids and their parents attended the event, picking up free backpacks and school supplies and taking advantage of other services offered by participating organizations.
Many local agencies and organizations had tables at the back to school fair, passing out free school supplies to children and providing their parents with a wide range of helpful information.
In addition to the free supplies, kids got free haircuts and dental and vision exams.
For families on a fixed budget or with several children, events such as this mean that their kids can return to school looking and feeling great and with everything they need to start the new year off right.
La Semana noticed one young mother, whose first name is Maria, performing the incredible task of keeping several elementary school age children together and focused on choosing which supplies they need without being distracted by the chaos of so many kids in one place.
“I have four kids and don’t earn a lot of money,” Maria told La Semana, “so this back to school fair is a real blessing. Getting a backpack full of school supplies for each of my children, plus a free haircut, means there will be enough money so they can also go back to school with new shoes.”
Maria smiled as her children politely thanked the volunteers who handed them notepads and pencils.
Among the many groups and organizations participating in the back to school fair were Tulsa City County Library, Gathering Place, Community Health Connection, Coalition for the American Dream, Tulsa Teachers Credit Union, Tulsa County Sheriff’s Office, Tulsa Roughnecks, Tulsa Public Schools, State Farm Insurance, Oklahoma Insurance Department, Oklahoma Natural Gas, YWCA, CREOKS, Arvest Bank, Tulsa Healthcare Coverage Project, Morton Healthcare Services, Que Buena Radio, Fuerza Oklahoma TV, Oklahoma Caring Van, Supermercados Morelos, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, and many others.
The fair was held at Tulsa Tech’s Lemley Campus on South Memorial Drive. Tulsa Tech was also a co-sponsor of the event.
Although COHO and many of the other participating groups focus on Tulsa’s Hispanic population, all children were welcome regardless of their background. The only requirement to get free school supplies was that the children had to be present at the event.
“It’s wonderful to see all these happy children and to know we’re able to help these families, if only a little bit,” one volunteer observed, noting that over 300 boxes of crayons had been given out in just the first hour of the fair. (La Semana)