Several organizations want kids to start the school year prepared and positive, and are offering everything from free haircuts and supplies as well as fun games. School districts are also announcing registration details and opportunities for kids and families to learn important information.

Back-to-school bashes

Friday, July 21

1-8 p.m., Clear Creek Park, 1201 W. Main St., Richmond. Presented by NBA star Desmond Bane. Meet and greet with Bane, barbers and hair stylists, carnival games, face painting and food trucks. Charity softball game at 5 p.m.

Saturday, July 22

10 a.m.-noon, First Church of Christ, 206 W. Church St., Lynn. Drive-thru supply giveaway for Randolph Southern students in preschool-sixth grade. Limited supplies for older students.

Noon-2 p.m. Cambridge City Christian Church, 106 W. Church St. For those attending Western Wayne Schools. Free haircuts, clothes and school supplies. Food. Activities include inflatable ax throwing, vehicle visits and photo booth. For more information on donating, call 765-478-5123 or email

Thursday, July 27

5-6 p.m. Boys & Girls Clubs of Wayne County’s First Bank Unit, 855 N. 12th St., Richmond. Backpacks stuffed with supplies will be given away on a first-come, first-served basis, and other resources will be available. Families can sign up or renew their child’s $15 membership for the school year and register for transportation. 765-962-6922

Saturday, July 29

Noon-4 p.m., Surety Community Church, 131 S. 18th St., Richmond. The event includes a giveaway of 500 stuffed backpacks plus food, fire truck/police car viewing, games, bounce houses and face painting. Kids must be present to pick up tickets, but don’t need to attend backpack pickup at 3:30. Open to all area kids.

Noon, Nicholson lot at North 13th and H streets, Richmond. Giveaway of school supplies, hot dogs, chips and water. A child must be present to receive supplies while they last. Sponsored by Richmond Road Runners, Buffalo Wings & Rings and Richmond Housing Authority. 765-977-7687.

Thursday, Aug. 3

7:30-9:30 p.m., Cordell Municipal Pool, 9 S.W. 13th St., Richmond. Adults, $6; youth, $4; $1 discount for new school supply donation. 

Saturday, Aug. 5

10 a.m.-1 p.m., Excel Center, 1215 S. J. St., Richmond. Supply giveaway, face painting, bounce house, popcorn and community resources. Free and open to the public.

Student registration/events

All students are asked to register before their first day of attendance. Many schools offer online registration through their district’s website that can be completed at public computers in local libraries.

State lawmakers eliminated families’ book fee payments for the 2023-24 school year for students in all grades, although some fees might be charged for courses earning college credit. Contact your child’s school district to inquire about specific costs. 

  • Western Wayne Schools: Walk-ins welcome from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. July 26 and 11 a.m.-7 p.m. July 27 at Western Wayne Elementary, 801 E. Delaware St., and Lincoln High School, 205 E. Parkway Drive, both in Cambridge City. Online registration opens those days at 765-478-5375.
  • Centerville-Abington Community Schools: Back to School Night takes place at Rose Hamilton Elementary for kindergarten from 5-6 p.m. and for grades 1-2 from 6-7 p.m., all on Monday, Aug. 7. Centerville-Abington Elementary’s Back to School Night is from 5-6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 8, for grades 3-6. Junior and senior high laptop distribution is from 3-6 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 2 and Thursday, Aug. 3. Orientation for all incoming ninth graders and their parents is at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 1 in CSHS’ cafeteria.
  • Nettle Creek Schools: Returning students can enroll at Transfer students can apply at Appointments can be made for in-person registration for new students or those who don’t have internet (elementary, 765-489-4555 ext. 2402; junior/senior high, 489-4511 ext. 3300). Preschool Back-to-School Night is anytime between 5-7 p.m. Aug. 1. Parent meetings are at 6 p.m. Aug. 1 for grades 7-8, when students can tour; 6 p.m. Aug. 2 for grades 9-10; 6 p.m. Aug. 3 for grade 11 and 7 p.m. Aug. 3 for grade 12. Back-to-School Night for grades K-6 is 5-6:30 p.m. Aug. 7.
  • Northeastern Wayne Schools: Enrollment for new students living in the district will be offered Aug. 2 via appointments arranged at 765-847-2821 ext. 531. Out-of-district families may submit applications that will be reviewed after Aug. 2. Registration opens online the week of July 24. NWS will offer some in-person registration times that are to be announced.   
  • Richmond Community Schools: Meet the Teacher Night on Aug. 3 at all RCS buildings. Elementaries, Hibberd, Test and Community Youth Services from 4-6 p.m.; Dennis Middle School and Richmond High School from 5-7 p.m. All students and families are encouraged to attend to receive information. 765-973-3300.
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A version of this article appeared in the July 19 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.