MILLEDGEVILLE — The Baldwin County school system is inviting the entire community to celebrate its fifth annual Stay In School Rally and “Walk for Education” next week as a way to support education and motivate youth to remain in school.
“We decided to change the format this year and put a new twist on it so it is more interactive and involves the entire community. We will be following the same format as Relay for Life,” said Carol Goings, instructional specialist for the local public school system. “It’s going to be an evening of fun to support education.”
The family-fun, free event is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Baldwin Braves Stadium, located off the US Highway 441 bypass.
“This event is just a community effort with free food, refreshments and door prizes,” Goings said. “A committee of teachers have worked extremely hard and they have taken hold of this; that’s why we want the whole community to come and support the program.”
School Superintendent Geneva Braziel will kick off the event by welcoming city officials, educators, students, parents and community residents followed by a motivational speaker who will share encouraging remarks. Local schools, including Baldwin High, Oak Hill Middle, Creekside Elementary, Blandy Hills Elementary and Midway Elementary schools and the Early Learning Center, as well as other area schools and colleges, will show off their talents, distribute information and walk for education.
“We will have a roll call announcing all of the teams that are represented, and then all entities and organizations will distribute their information out. No one is allowed to sell or ask for donations; everything will be free at the event,” Braziel said. “We want to have as many teams as possible to walk to show their support for students staying in school, including restaurants, the police department, the sheriff’s office and car dealerships.”
Various organizations, churches and businesses, including Live Healthy Baldwin, Communities In Schools of Milledgeville-Baldwin County, Baldwin County National Children’s Study, Digital Bridges, Department of Juvenile Justice, Department of Family and Children’s Services, Milledgeville Housing Authority, YES (Youth Enrichment Services) program, W.A.T.C.H. Dogs and more, will have tents set up while representatives continue to walk.
“The YES program students from Blandy and Midway will perform drums, and Eagle Ridge will have violinists. The Early Learning Center will have Pre-K students singing,” Goings said. “The different chorus, band, drill teams and cheerleaders from various schools will also perform as well as school organizations.”
While Z97 FM and mascots provide entertainment, youth can enjoy face painting, and parents, students and alumni can take part in walking with their individual school teams. Donated prizes will be given out throughout the evening, including gift certificates, bicycles, school supplies and electronics.
Teams planning to walk must check-in at the command table located at the gate on the day of the event to receive directions and walking order information. The deadline to set up a booth is Monday afternoon.
“We’re asking for a little time and support and to learn about the resources available,” Braziel said. “It’s all about the children. Children don’t affect just the public school system, but Baldwin County as a whole. The goal is for everyone to encourage children because we want all kids to graduate, no matter what school they’re from.”
For more information about the grand celebration, to make a donation or to set up a booth at the event, contact Goings at (478) 457-3325 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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