It happened again, for the 15th year in a row the Rainier Beach Back2School Bash inspired Rainier Beach and other area youth and families about education! How did it happen – 800 children, 700 families experienced 50 resource tables, 700 free back packs, 1,000 free books, 8 life giving performances and 64 volunteers is how it happened.  The event planning team was led by Danielle Jackson and Gregory Davis and they are so appreciative of everyone who contributed.  (picture of Danielle and Gregory with Slick above)
The Rainier Beach Back2School Bash was opened with its tradition, the Lion Dance and we were able to add another performer the Adefua African Dance and Music Workshop. According to Davis: Adefua is a legend in the south-end community and we are super excited about adding her as a standard opening performance for future Back2School Bashes.  As for the Lion Dance crew, kudos to them but I want to give some love to the percussion team…they never get in a photo: (picture of Lion Dance percussion team and Afua above)
The day was a mix of everything – different cultures, weather and experiences. Many special people came out beyond the children and families. Keeping with the theme of education we received a visit from the new Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools Denise Juneau, the first Native American superintendent in the city’s history.  Leadership from our local schools where present Dr. Powell South Lake High School, South Shore PK-8’s Justin Hendrickson, Chris Thomas of Martin Luther King Jr Elementary School, Dwane Chappelle Director of Department of Education and Early Learning, and the new principal of Ashe Preparatory Academy from Skyway. (picture of principals and Dwane Chappelle below)

Many thanks to the RBAC crew – David, Patrice, Ken; the Corner Greeter Team – Jerrell, Ms Sherrill, Rashad, Gabby, Fatima T, EB, Hani, Behsan, Zion, Mariam Bayo, Croones, Esmehan and Fatima O. Thanks to the constant presence of Ms. Fai Matthews who organized the distribution of over 700 backpacks,  Charlotte Antoine’s Carrier Church who collected and gave away over one thousand free books and Pastor Willis from True Vine Holiness Church for cooking over 600 hotdogs. (picture of Fai and CG/MDC Team below) Always grateful for the folk who donated backpacks Urban Impact/Liberty Roads, Atlantic Street Center, Rainier Scholars, Friends of Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands. Much, much appreciation to Seattle Parks Rainier Beach Community Center whose provision of canopies, tables and chairs amounts to over $4,000 in in-kind contributions. This year followed Danielle Jacksons’, the event planning coordinator, desire for bigger and better…it was the biggest one yet. (pictures of general activity here – Jerrell play chess, Lieka’s group, Nikkita with Legend, Charity below)

We look forward to you joining us for next year’s event scheduled for August 10, 2019.  In the meantime, join us at the next Rainier Beach Town Hall meeting celebrating the Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports initiative, September 27, 2018 at Rainier Beach Community Center gymnasium, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm.  Call Mahogany Villars at 206.323.3150 or email mahogany@sngi.org.  See ya in the neighborhood!

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