Community Celebrates Back-to-School

August 13, 2014

It was an education celebration Wednesday, at Southwood in Albemarle County.

The sixth annual "Back to School Festival" was a chance for students, teachers, and parents to break the ice ahead of the first day of school.

"I wanted to see my teacher. I wanted to see who it is," said fourth grader Leslie Grande, who looks forward to the festival every year.

"They have some fun stuff to do. They have face painting, snow cones, books and school supplies. It's really cool," said Grande.

Nearly 1,000 families from the Southwood community came out to the event, which was in part sponsored by Walmart. Kids picked out new books, and had to chance to meet with their new teachers. However, it wasn't just the kids looking to shake the first day jitters.

Cale Elementary's new assistant principal Brad Handrich, admitted he was nervous for the new school year, which will be his first at the school. Handrich says he was grateful for the opportunity to meet the kids and parents before hitting the hallways next week.

"Building relationships is always important, especially before you go to school. I think it really sets the tone for the year and kids come to school happy, knowing their teachers, knowing who's who," Handrich said.

This year was Cale kingergarten teacher Katy Schutz's third time at the "Back to School Festival." She says coming out to the event is not only a way to reach out to the community, but to reconnect with her former students.

"The students I've had in years past come up with big hugs, and it just fills my heart with such joy to feel connected with this community and to feel part of it, and be able to support the parents and be supported by the community," said Schutz.

The first day of school for Albemarle County in August 20th.

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