CAIRO, Ga. (WALB) – A total of 800 bags of books have been donated to students in hopes of getting the school year off to a good start.

Hundreds of people lined up Saturday morning for the chance to get their hands on the supplies collected over the weeks.

Families head to Cairo High School Gymnasium for ‘Back To School Blitz’(WALB)

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

This is the 13th time that they have organized their “Back to school Blitz”.

“There are a lot of layers when it comes to fundraising, getting sponsors, buying the bags (and) putting the bags together,” Daughtry said.

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

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

She moved to Cairo from Pennsylvania a year ago and said it was the first time she had attended an event like this. Durr added that this event was particularly necessary this year due to inflation.

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

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

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

Cairo Mayor Booker Gainor and new Superintendent Dr McFee laugh as they hand out...
Cairo Mayor Booker Gainor and new superintendent Dr McFee laugh as they hand out the bags of books.(WALB)

“I’m into the new guy. So they look at me like who is this guy, but with the people I’ve talked to, they love their city, they love their community, they love their schools,” McFee said.

McFee taught for over 20 years in Southwest Florida, but found a home in Southwest Georgia for nearly 5 years.

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

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

Cairo Mayor Booker Gainor helped distribute bags of books. 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 to the aid of our children, letting them know that we support their educational aspirations by ensuring they have the materials they need to get started on the first day of school,” Gainor said.

The event wasn’t just about schoolbags, as several schools participated and shared information about their policies, which buses to start on, and when school would start.

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