Calcasieu Parish students can get the supplies they need for the upcoming school year during a Back to School Bash from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday at the Lake Charles Civic Center.

Hosted by the School Board, the event will provide each student with free backpacks, school supplies and uniforms through a partnership with DeWanna's Community Closet.

"If we're able to remove a major stressor from the parents, we're able to remove an extra stressor from the students," said Marcus Jackson, the school system's R3 Zone director. "It puts their minds at ease, and that allows us to be more effective and efficient in regards to what we're trying to accomplish." 

The event is open to families parishwide, but it will highlight schools in the R3 Zone, according to Jackson.

"We've got some really exciting and unique things going on in our zone schools, and we're trying to entice our parents to return with that same excitement," he said.

A $100 gift certificate to Finish Line or Foot Locker will be handed out every 30 minutes.

Families can also visit with district leaders and principals about some of the new changes to zone schools in the upcoming year. Elementary, middle and high schools are getting a Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math pipeline. High schools will also feature a new robotics and engineering focus, Jackson said.

Community partners like Big Brothers Big Sisters, Families Helping Families and Early Steps will also share the valuable resources available to residents, many times at no cost.

"I really don't think our community has a true understanding of the services that are actually in the community," Jackson said. "We're bringing everybody together so parents can see right there, at one particular time, the things going on in our community."

Free pizza, drinks and snow cones will be available. The LaGrange and Washington-Marion High School bands will perform, along with Grammy nominees Mickey Smith Jr. and Sean Ardoin.

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