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Expo in Works to Kick Off School Year


school expo
Halifax County Public Schools is sponsoring its first countywide back-2-school motivational expo on Saturday, Aug. 4, to kick off the new school year.

The school system will be welcoming all participants, grades K-12, inclusive of parents by literally “rolling out the red carpet” at the entrance of Halifax County High School with a ribbon cutting for everyone to enter at 9:45 a.m.

All participants will be welcomed down the red carpet by teachers/administrators from across the school district, Halifax County High School Band and cheerleaders.

Upon entering the lobby of the high school, participants will be ushered into the auditorium by Mr. McGruff, Red Fox, Spanky the Squirrel, Minion, Friends of Dr. Seuss and Mr. Chip.

The program will begin promptly at 10 a.m. and will be packed with excitement and fun to stimulate in each child the desire to strive for academic excellence during the 2018-19 school year.

“We would like to welcome a crowd of 800-1,000 students and parents for the expo,” said one of the organizers, ED-3 School Board member Sandra Garner Coleman. “We are soliciting the endorsement of our community as Halifax County Public Schools strives to strengthen the bond between school and the community.”

The expo program will consist of motivational speakers, parents and students rendering entertainment, a JROTC drill team performance and “pledges for success” recited by parents selected from all schools across the school district.

The motivational speakers highlighting the program include Tisha Waller, ex-Olympian; Ryland Clark, Mentor Role Model board member; Will Worley, WWA champion; Alonzo Coleman, former NFL player; Tyrone Davis, former NFL player; and Terry Davis, former NBA player.

“We are excited that we have such a distinguished slate of guests who have consented to be speakers for our expo,” said Garner-Coleman. “Our guest soloist for the expo is Sharron Garrett. We have Andre Williamson and Ellen Haskett, music teachers of Halifax County Public Schools, organizing a chorus made up of parents and students to render a special musical selection.

“Throughout our program, students will be given an opportunity to win gift cards and food certificates donated by our volunteers and local merchants during our raffle drawings,” she added.

At the conclusion of the program, parents and students will be given time to visit the many informational and service tables set up for the expo. All schools will have an informational table manned by teachers and administrators from the respective schools to address concerns of parents who have or have not attended the scheduled open houses.

Counselors from across the school district will be available to answer any questions parents might have regarding their children.

For parents who are not computer savvy utilizing the school district’s parent portal system, representatives from the IT department will be available to address the needs of any parents.

In addition to an informational table, the CTE program will feature the award-winning robotic team that will allow students to interact with the robot utilized for its competition in Detroit, Michigan.

The culinary arts department will have samples of goodies prepared by its department to sample.

The Mentor Role Model Program will have a table sharing information about the services offered to children in its after-school program.

“We even have some registered nurses who have volunteered to be on hand to take the blood pressure of any attendee desiring the service,” she added.

With a major election coming up in November, the expo also will offer a voter registration service. 

In addition, an interactive STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) lab will be on site from the Danville Technology Center for children and parents to explore.

The Old School Car Club members have agreed to have some of their vintage cars on display for people to examine the craftsmanship that goes into restoring old cars.

“We want everyone to leave the expo equipped with information to promote the success in their children,” Garner-Coleman added.

After touring the expo tables and displays, all participants will be served a lunch prepared by food services at no charge. The menu will include fresh produce and new recipes that will tie into the Taste 4 Program set to be in place on the first day of instruction for the upcoming school year.

The Virginia Tech Family Nutrition Program will be on hand to prepare nutritional food dishes for sampling that promote healthy eating for children. Once participants have completed lunch, all students will be given a bag of school supplies at the exit.

Some school supplies will be retained for distribution to all schools for those children who do not have an opportunity to attend the expo. Any gift cards/food certificates remaining will be divided equally among the schools for principals to use at their discretion as incentives throughout the school year.

“We have given the task of collecting school supplies to the churches of Halifax County. The letters were mailed out the first week of June asking churches to collect supplies through the month of July,” said Garner Coleman, adding, “If by chance your church did not get a letter with instructions on collecting school supplies, please contact Sandra Coleman at 434-470-6305 for information. Some letters were returned due to an incorrect mailing address.”

Also, anyone wishing to make a donation to support the expo may make a check payable to Halifax County Public Schools—Attention Sandra Coleman and mail to 1030 Mary Bethune St. Suite 100 – P.O. Box 1849, Halifax, VA 24558.

“We hope the citizens of Halifax County choose to make our first countywide 2018 Back-2-School Expo an overwhelming success with your participation. Together we can make Halifax County Public Schools greater,” she concluded.