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Edison Local School District’s annual Back To School Rally yielded a spectacular turnout as students and their families gathered for fun and lots of free stuff on Aug. 11.

  An estimated 700 people took part in the annual event outside the Edison High School Fieldhouse, where they enjoyed food, music, games, face painting, inflatable rides, free school supplies and other delights. Now in it’s sixth year, the event made its return in 2021 after a COVID-related hiatus. It has drawn an estimated 400 people in the past but Assistant Superintendent Julie Kireta, who organized the activity, said numbers nearly doubled this time.

  “Our attendance this year was great. The weather was beautiful and attendance had increased from previous years,” she said. “Students seemed to be happy to be getting ready to come back to school. It was wonderful to have all of the community organizations and the studentsappreciated all of the giveaways, food and activities.”

  Among the activities were inflatable rides and treats from Movin’ & Groovin’ Productions of Toronto, free school supplies, information, a Meet the Team activity with fall sports athletes and a performance from the EHS Marching Band. About 20 vendors were on hand including the Edison Local School District Office, district transportation department, EHS, Stanton and John Gregg Elementary schools, J.B. Green Team, Jefferson County Health Department, Nutrition, Inc, Family Recovery Center, The Village Network, PLSJ, Jefferson County Prevention and Recovery Board, Ohio Coalition for the Education of Children with Disabilities, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities and Richmond United Methodist Church. The EHS Choir and sports teams including swim, golf, cheerleaders, soccer and Wildcat Mom Squad also had opportunities to raise funds for their groups.

  School principals and staff doled out school supplies in string bags with items according to grade level. The free goods ranged from pencils and crayons to notebooks and earbuds. Athletic passes for senior citizens, fall season tickets and Wildcats apparel were also on tap with hot dogs, cotton candy, snow cones and popcorn for the taking.

  Kireta added that the rally was a fun way to kick off the new school year, which is set to begin on Aug. 24.

  “Students are provided with school supplies and treats. It is nice to see everyone out before school starts. Many teachers and all of the district administration attend, so it is a good opportunity to ask questions if families have any,” she said. “It was a beautiful evening and we were happy to see all of the students and families.”

  Some parents and students on hand said they enjoyed the festivities as they geared up to return to class.

 “It’s actually pretty nice that they get the kids hyped up for school,” said mom Marjorie Cranston. “They get to see their friends and see how much everyone’s changed.”

  “It’s good,” added daughter Nevaeh Cranston, a fourth-grader at Stanton Elementary who said she was ready for school.

  “I like seeing all of my friends and hanging out,” commented Zoey Wright, a freshman at EHS.

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