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“Back 2 School Jam”‘s Free Backpacks, Supplies and Shots Draws Thousands at FPC

| August 7, 2010

back-to-school jam flagler fpc

They started lining up well before the 10 o’clock kick-off, and kept coming. (© Daria Harbater / FlaglerLive)

If you’re reading this before 2 p.m. Saturday, you still have a chance: the Back-to-School Jam is still on at Flagler Palm Coast High School, with free backpacks, school supplies and immunization shots.

Some 150 volunteers also registered and worked at the event, including 50 Walmart employees volunteering their time. Walmart, the Flagler County school district and the Flagler County Education Foundation were the principal sponsor of the event. Flagler Volunteer Services also provided about 50 volunteers, and about 50 more registered at the high school’s front desk, enabling the event to unfold with remarkable calm and organization despite heat that became more stifling by the minute.

erasers jam

That’s a lot of potential erasing. (© FlaglerLive)

Parents and students began lining up for the give-away well before 10 o’clock this morning. By 10:45, by the time between 1,000 and 2,000 back-packs were handed out at school-by-school tents, a line snaked through several hundred feet of the parking lot–the kind of long line you’d see at the opening of a summer smash or for the latest Harry Potter installment–as parents and children waited to get into the gymnasium. There, along tables line up around the gymnasium’s walls and through its center, students filled their backpacks with erasers, glue, rulers, ruled paper, notebooks, crayons, colored pencils, binders, highlighters, cap erasers and markers.

The jam wasn’t just metaphorical: DjBizzi was jamming it up with music, too.

In a corridor off of the gym floor, students lined up for something a little less fun but equally necessary: immunization shots, provided free by the Flagler County Health Department. Those shots will still be provided through 2 p.m., though the Health Department will continue providing free shots at various schools. (See here for details; scroll to the bottom of the article.)

Other contributors to the Jam included the county’s homebuilders and Realtors associations and the Flagler County Chamber of Commerce and affiliates.

Back 2 School Jam Photo Gallery

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11 Responses for ““Back 2 School Jam”‘s Free Backpacks, Supplies and Shots Draws Thousands at FPC”

  1. gmemom says:

    Picture 16 of 16 “They wanted their picture taken” aka The Imagine School line.

    Come on and just be nice!!!

  2. TheTruth says:

    The irony here is that parents will still complain that they are unable to get their kids supplies two weeks after the school year has started. Despite the huge freebie giveaway. Despite the one cent Staples sales. Despite 10 cent notebooks. 5 cent pens. 25 cent composition notebooks. They will still send their children with nothing but a note, telling their teachers that they will have to wait until they get their next paycheck.

  3. mjw says:

    Headline is somewhat misleading with the word FREE, Walmart will recoupe money spent from the customer base.

    As for the other two outfits the (education) faction, don’t they get some if not all of their money from tax payers ?

  4. Jim Guines says:

    I think this is a great way to start off with the community being involved in giving away school supplies. We all should find away to keep the importance of school going all throughtout the school year. Churches should honor all honor school students. Get those stickers for cars that let the community know that you have a smart kid at a certain school. Now that we have a movie house, there should be discounts for outstanding students in many ways–attendance, grades, good citizenship. This could become a good thhing!!!

  5. H Peter Stolz says:

    I think the give-away is great. The fact that people volunteered and we had an orderly process reflects very favorably on our community. Kudos to everyone involved. Kudos also to MediQuick for giving all those free school physicals a couple of weeks ago.

  6. Pierre Tristam says:

    mjw, I’m not into defending Walmart practices, but in this case it’s as generous and true a giveaway as you can get without mucking it up with commercial payback: I don’t recall seeing a single Walmart banner or ad or anything to suggest that Walmart was looking to capitalize on this besides providing so much of the stuff; nor for that matter was there any showing off from the other sponsors. The phrase it’s about the kids is often overused and abused by sponsors. In this case it happens to be accurate. I doubt any student walked away from there thinking anything about brand loyalty or subliminally feeling the urge to head straight for Walmart or thinking anything other than the actual supplies she got–all of which, as I also recall, had nothing to link them to Walmart or any other sponsor, other than the brand of merchandise they happened to be. The Education Foundation, incidentally, is not tax-supported. And the school district’s role, tax-supported though it is, was to provide the facilities for all this to take place safely and familiarly, in a school setting. Would you rather it had taken place at Walmart and in Walmart’s parking lot? In sum, I think the headline was understated, especially in light of what these supplies meant to students and their parents.

    And look: Even Peter Stolz had something good to say. That hasn’t happened since he prematurely cheered when he thought Dewey had beaten Truman.

  7. RBD says:

    The Back 2 School Jam is proof positive that we can do great things when we collaborate. Historically, various organizations worked on back packs programs…Flagler HBA, FCAR, Chamber, FCEF, Jewish Federation, UW, Kiwanis, Rotary, churches, et al. This year we were able to serve over 2,000 students and stock the STUFF bus which will continue to help students in need throughout the school year.

    The Flagler County Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit direct-support organization committed to generating financial support and awareness to enhance educational programs benefiting students and teachers in Flagler County Public Schools. The Flagler County Education Foundation has several core programs we fund and manage, also working closely with the school district to ensure the success of other programs.

    The funds used for the event today were raised through grants and the generous donations of locals clubs, organizations and individuals. It was an honor to be part of it and I’m proud of the organizations that were involved.

    thanks for the coverage and the great photos!

  8. Neko says:

    I just hope that the kids that REALLY needed the supplies where the ones to receive them, not the people driving up in their brand new expensive vehicles.

  9. Devrie says:

    I took my daughter to the event to mingle with other children and play on the bouncies. We decided to avoid the big rush and get there after the backpack giveaways. Volunteers were announcing to a decent crowd of dissappointed folks that there were no more backpacks to give to the children.

    I did see people sporting clothes that I can’t imagine being able to buy, with two children carrying their free backpacks to their new looking SUV’s. Seeing quite a few low-income families hoping for the free packs was dissappointing to me; however, if a family felt it was necessary to get the free packs and supplies for their children, they must have needed it.

    Also, the volunteers told the parents that if their children were on free or reduced school lunches, they could contact the school once school started and may be able to get a free backpack after all.

    There seemed to be plenty of school supplies available to children in the Gym, even late in the event.

    So, with people struggling in all income classes, I’m thinking that this event primarily served those who needed it most, and then served those who could “use” the free items to maximize their school budgets.

  10. tifani schaffer says:

    i have 2 kidesmy husban has been out of work and i need school stuff for my kides i was just wondering if you had any left.i dont know were to go for help. dont have a car it broke.can you tell me were to go in vero beach iam new around here .i just dont know were to go.or if any body can maile me two so i can send my grils to school with them .i feel realy bad that i can knot get it for them i dont want them left out so if somebody can help me out please let me know

  11. Nicole Brose says:

    Tifani – if your children are students in Flagler County please contact me at or 386-437-7526, ext. 3125 and I will work with your children’s schools to get them the support they need. Our school district and community have a variety of resources available to assist.

    Other interested readers can learn more about our programs and ways to help at

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