Friday, August 14, 2009

Hispanic group offers free school supplies

Hispanic association's fair to offer free school supplies
By FRANK FERNANDEZ, News Journal Online, August 13, 2009

DELTONA -- Need free back-to-school stuff, including backpacks, notebooks, pencils, haircuts and immunizations for your little Albert Einstein or Madame Curie?

The Volusia County Hispanic Association is sponsoring a back-to-school fair Saturday where kids can get school supplies and more at no cost while supplies last, said David Santiago, a member of the association's fair organizing team.

The event was a big success last year and the group only expects it to get bigger, Santiago said.

"We certainly expect a large turnout this year, given the economic conditions," he said. "We are worried that we are not going to be able to serve everyone that will show up, but we are going to do our best."

The turnout was so large last year at the Harris M. Saxon Community Center that the fair has been moved to Wes Crile Park at Norbert Terrace and Fort Smith Boulevard in Deltona to have more room, Santiago said.

"It's one of our most rewarding events because it's where people come out and get everything for free," he said.

Parents whose children need immunizations must bring the child's immunization records. The shots won't be given at the park but at a nearby Volusia County Health Department clinic.

Santiago said organizers didn't want to mix fun with needles.

"We didn't want to make it intimidating for the kids to see people getting shots," he said.

While the event starts at 10 a.m., Santiago recommends people arrive early since he said the freebies will be given out only while supplies last. Lines formed early last year.

While the Volusia County Hispanic Association is sponsoring the event, you don't have to speak Spanish to attend, said the organization's president, Carlos Rivera.

"It's open to anyone," Rivera said.

Rivera said lots of parents will probably want their kids to take advantage of free haircuts, to be provided by stylists from Platinum Styles in Deltona and by students from Daytona State College.

"It saves a lot of money," Rivera said.

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