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The Commission on Black Girls Hosts Back to School Drive-Thru Event

Over 300 Back-to-School and Wellness Support Kits Given to Assist Girls with a Healthy Start to School

CoBG Drive-Thru Event

[COLUMBUS, OH] A new school year is on the horizon. Columbus City Council’s Commission on Black Girls wants to ensure young ladies have the tools and resources needed to soar. On Saturday, August 29, the parking lot at the Franklin Park Conservatory transformed into a back-to-school drive-thru event.

“COVID-19 has exacerbated issues that Black girls experience,” said Councilmember Priscilla Tyson. “There is an increasing need for personal hygiene items, traditional school supplies, and resources that support wellness and help girls cope with stress.”

Families received drawstring bags, journals, notebooks, earbuds, clothing, hygiene products, STEM materials, produce boxes and more. The drive-thru event helped bridge the gap between what families can afford and students, particularly girls, need.

“It was important to include these non-traditional back to school items,” Tyson continued. “Many girls are feeling isolated. They are taking on more responsibility caring for siblings and household chores while going to school. They need more than pencils and paper.”

One of the more unique items was the inclusion of a teen coloring book, intended to relieve stress.

Organizations that provided items for girls or participated in the event included ADAMH, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, The Center for Healthy Families, Central Community House, Nationwide Children’s, Columbus Public Health, Columbus City Schools, Community for New Direction, COSI, DNTFRT, Eryn Pink, Food Lion, Franklin Park Conservatory, Franklin University, Lbrands Foundation, Local Matters, Meyers Family Dental, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Franklin County, Nationwide, The Ohio State University College of Social Work, The PIT Bbq Grill, PMM, Rise Sister Rise, Forever Unique – Sharon D. Williams, Shea Moisture, Toyota, and Urban One.

“NAMI Franklin County is dedicated to improving the lives of people in our community through education, outreach, support, referral, and advocacy in Columbus,” said Rachelle Martin, executive director of NAMI Franklin County. “At NAMI Franklin County, we take this pandemic very seriously and it is our profound duty and obligation to help Black Girls through the challenges of COVID-19. It is an honor and a privilege to provide items to equip our girls to soar as they return to school.”

In July 2020, the Commission on Black Girls released the report outlining its findings and next steps to ensure Black girls in Columbus have equal access to opportunities for success.

Click here to review the full report and recommendations.