800 book bags given away in Cairo ‘Back To School Blitz’

800 book bags given away in Cairo ‘Back To School Blitz’
Published: Jul. 30, 2022 at 3:31 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 30, 2022 at 8:53 PM EDT
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CAIRO, Ga. (WALB) - A total of 800 book bags were donated to students in hopes to get the school year off to a good start.

Hundreds gathered in a line Saturday morning for a chance to get their hands on supplies gathered over the span of weeks.

Families head into Cairo High School Gymnasium for the "Back To School Blitz"
Families head into Cairo High School Gymnasium for the "Back To School Blitz"(WALB)

“The line also just shows the need. The people in the community need things and we want to make sure that they have the right essentials,” Nola Daughtry, the executive director of Grady County Family Connections, said.

This is the 13th time they’ve held their “Back-to-School Blitz”.

“There’s a lot of layers to it as far as raising the funds, getting sponsors, purchasing the bags (and) getting the bags assembled,” Daughtry said.

In the bags were other school essentials like colored pencils, paper and pens.

“That was what we were looking for, the mesh book bags. Because you can’t get any at Walmart,” Rae Durr, Cairo resident, said.

She moved to Cairo from Pennsylvania a year ago and said that this is the first time she’s ever seen an event like this. Durr added that this event was especially needed this year because of inflation.

Daughtry said raising this amount was more difficult this year for the same reasons. Chase, a freshman at Cairo High School, appreciated the efforts of all of the sponsors.

“It shows how much the community cares about the people and how we come together as a little town that we are. We show each other love and have fun,” Chase said.

Superintendent of Grady County schools Dr. Eric McFee used the event to meet the parents and children he will be responsible for.

Mayor of Cairo Booker Gainor and new Superintendent, Dr. McFee share a laugh while handing out...
Mayor of Cairo Booker Gainor and new Superintendent, Dr. McFee share a laugh while handing out the book bags.(WALB)

“I am in the new guy. So they’re looking at me like who is this guy but with the folks I have spoken with, they love their town, they love their community, they love their schools,” said McFee.

McFee taught for more than 20 years in Southwest Florida but has found a home in Southwest Georgia for almost 5 years.

“When we picked communities to move to, places like Grady and Cairo, we see the community support our kids. It’s a welcoming feeling,” he said.

His goals are to increase test scores for the district and to create a more united school system. Saturday was a great first step.

The mayor of Cairo, Booker Gainor, helped pass out book bags. he said The back to school event is one of his favorites every year.

“If you look around and look behind me, you see first responders, you see community leaders, you see former educators. You just see the business community coming out to support our kids, letting them know we support their educational aspirations by making sure that they have the materials to jumpstart on the first day of school,” Gainor said.

The event was not only about the bookbags as multiple schools participated and gave out information about their policies, what buses to start on, and when school would start.

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