LIMA — Tamara Crowe was first in line for the free school supplies at this year’s Back to School Celebration at Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Center Park.
She stood in line for nearly seven hours so her grandchildren wouldn’t get left out.
“You see that line. If you don’t (get here early) your kids get pushed out and they hardly get anything so I figured my grandkids could come first and they’ll have a choice to pick up certain things because when all of it comes to the end (of the line) then all of the good ones are gone,” said Crowe. “Last time we were way back there so I wanted them to have a good time this year.”
Jill Ackerman, Lima schools superintendent wasn’t surprised by the long lines.
“People have been in line since 9:30 this morning and then in addition to that we’ve had even more organizations on board this year,” said Ackerman. “I feel really good about all of it because we have a lot to offer. We have plenty of school supplies. We’re in good shape.”
Ackerman is pleased with the support the event’s been getting throughout the years.
“This says a lot about our community because we’ve had organizations, churches, businesses, sororities, we’ve got Neighborhood Relief, Salvation Army, everybody just wants to help. It seems to grow yearly,” said Ackerman.
Events like this help get kids in the frame of mind to return to school.
“It’s so important that kids know that they are coming back to school in a welcoming environment. I am so impressed with the commitment of our teachers and all of our education support professionals, administrators and everybody that has come together as a community to make sure that students are going to be successful,” said Scott DiMauro, president of the Ohio Education Association.
The State Report Cards will be coming out in September, measuring each school districts performance during the previous school year.
In the last grade card, Lima schools received a failing grade and if they get two more, they could be taken over by the state. But there is some question whether the system in place now will be there a year or two from now.
“The state budget bill that was just passed over the summer put a moratorium on the state takeover law for a year so between now and next fall the legislature is going to have to work out what does it mean exactly when schools are struggling and what does that kind of state intervention look like. We have been advocating very consistently that House Bill 70 is a bad law, that it takes away local control and it deprives communities of the voice that they need. We don’t need state takeovers we need state support to make sure that all of our students are getting the support they need to be successful,” said DiMauro.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.