The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

August 5, 2013

Back to School Bash ends summer season

JOHNSTOWN — Greater Johnstown School District and Johnstown Area Heritage Association are partnering to present the first ever Back to School Bash.

The festivities will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Peoples Natural Gas Park, 90 Johns St., downtown Johnstown.

“The event was created to give a positive conclusion to summer vacation and to help underserved families get prepared for the upcoming school year,” said Melody Tisinger,  JAHA’s membership coordinator. “The event also will provide parents with information on affirmative programs and activities that students can participate in after school hours.”

The day also promises to be fun as organizers have scheduled games and live entertainment throughout the event.

"The first 100 school-ages students will receive a bag filled with school supplies,” Tisinger said. “Sponsors from throughout the community have come on board to provide a variety of things for the children.”

There will be a variety of giveaways that include back-to-school shopping sprees provided by JC Penney and Boscov’s department stores,  JAHA family membership, two book bags filled with supplies from Staples and hockey ticket vouchers from the Johnstown Tomahawks.

The free program will be held rain or shine.

The bash evolved from JAHA’s previous program titled Summer Kickoff, which encouraged children about to go on vacation to have a safe and positive summer.

“This has morphed from that program so we could offer participants more than information,” Tisinger said.

A number of barbers and stylists will be attending the event to offer free haircuts to children.

Free picnic-style food, including hotdogs, will be available.

Organizers are hoping to get as many as 250 participants.

“Everyone will leave with something, even if it’s an ice cream or hockey voucher,” Tisinger said.

The program is aimed at students from the age of kindergarten to grade 12.

“This is a really terrific opportunity in terms of getting people excited about getting back to school,” said  JAHA marketing director Shelley Johansson. “It offers a neat way to use the park.”

Tisinger said the goal is to grow the event in future years.

“We can make it even bigger if we get additional support,” she said. “We are grateful for our sponsors who have stepped up to provide this opportunity for the kids.”

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