Communities in Schools Parent Expo this Saturday

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

Students in Henry County will return to class in less than three weeks for the 2015-16 school year, and families are already getting ready.

Several major events in the community have sprung up in recent years to give local residents opportunities to prepare themselves for the school year, including the distribution of free school supplies for families in need.

A crowd is expected this weekend at the Jason T. Harper Event Center in McDonough’s Heritage Park for the fourth annual Parent Expo sponsored by Communities in Schools of Henry County. This event has provided hundreds of local families with school supplies and backpacks over the past three years.

“We had about 2,500-3,000 come out last year,” said local CIS director Shane Persaud, who added that a more precise number could not be determined but the turnout was great.

The main goals for the Parent Expo are to facilitate community outreach, increase parental engagement and promote community partnerships. Represen-tative from all nine Henry County school clusters as well as the Academy for Advanced Studies and Impact Academy will be on hand to provide information on school programs, volunteer opportunities and other events geared toward parents during the upcoming school year.

At least a dozen local businesses and other organizations have signed on as major sponsors for the Parent Expo, and a number of others will be present as partners and/or vendor for the event. Volunteers such as CIS staff and board members are helping keep everything running smoothly that day, and local groups have come forward to provide personnel to help. “Some of our churches have especially stepped up and volunteered,” said Persaud.

Donations of school supplies are still being accepted and can be brought Wednesday or Thursday of this week to the CIS office, which has relocated to the former McDonough Elementary School campus, now the home of EXCEL Academy (formerly Patrick Henry Academy). The CIS office is at 330 East Tomlinson Street, Room 418, in McDonough.

For more information on Communities in Schools, visit