Back to School Festival helps families with backpack full of sup - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Back to School Festival helps families with backpack full of supplies

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Lines backed up for blocks at Trinity United Methodist Church in Keokuk. Lines backed up for blocks at Trinity United Methodist Church in Keokuk.
Kids taking home one of 1,000 backpacks for families. Kids taking home one of 1,000 backpacks for families.
Kids getting necessary dental checkup. Kids getting necessary dental checkup.
Justice with her family at the festival. Justice with her family at the festival.
Kids falling in love with their backpacks. Kids falling in love with their backpacks.
KEOKUK, Ia. (WGEM) -

Many kids are going back to school in a few weeks and parent's know, it's not cheap.

In Lee County, there was a festival that made sure kids start their school year on the right foot. 

Lines were backed up for blocks at Trinity United Methodist Church on Plank Road in Keokuk. 

"We quite literally came here over an hour early to make sure we were a decent spot in a line," Becky Justice from Keokuk said. "It was literally wrapped around the building." 

Becky Justice lives in Keokuk and has to get ready for her kids entering Hawthorne Elementary. It's been hard because she's been recovering from an injury and works part time. 

"It's wonderful for these places to have the help," Justice said. "If it wasn't for that, I don't know what I would do to be honest with you. " 

The United Way handed out 1,000 backpacks filled with school supplies for families in Lee, Hancock, and Clark Counties.

"It's a one stop shop," Lansing said. "We have agencies for all around like boy scouts, girl scouts, we have library information, the police department, dental screening, eye screening, a supply filled backpack, and a haircut." 

Great River Region Executive Director Jaclyn Lansing said the festival allows all kids to be prepared before the first day of classes. 

"Getting that eye or dental screening really puts them on the same level as all the other kids in school," Lansing said. "It gives them that confidence in the classroom." 

Justice said she wouldn't have been able to afford supplies without this event and stresses the importance of school to her kids. 

"Their education comes first," Justice said. "It is a priority in life because you can't get anywhere in life cause you can't get anywhere without a good education. I would like my kids to have a better opportunity than I had growing up" 

This is the third year of the United Way event.

The average cost of a supply filled backpack is $25. 
 

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