Communities in Schools of Mid-America hopes to help students get off to a good start to this school year with their Haircuts & Hot dogs event Aug. 24 from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Forest Park.
All students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade attending Labette County schools are invited.
LaShawn Taylor, CIS of Mid-America director of community engagement, said the event is a transformation of last year’s back-to-school event with a focus on being a family engagement opportunity to kick off the year in a positive manner.
“We have invited everyone I can think of to participate — anything that could benefit or be a resource to students or their families throughout the year,” Taylor said. “They can come and give away swag.
“Then there’s free hot dogs and free hair cuts. The Rec Center is going to have all their bounce houses and we’re going to have face painting, there will be a zumba demonstration, and we’ll have musical guest Shiloh’s Crossing. Westar is doing bucket rides.”
In addition, he is looking into offering free family photos there.
“There will be a dunk tank. Sean Frye will be there 10 to 10:30 a.m. Tabitha Spriggs signed up, Rob Barcus and I’m looking for more people to fill it up, so I’m going to be reaching out to other school districts to see if we can get some of the other school districts and include them.
“Everything is free,” Taylor said. “It’s just a day of fun.”
It is hoped CIS can get donations of items for giveaways and raffles.
“My idea is to at least have a couple of food certificates or something where parents can enter into a drawing to win like $100 to $150 worth of groceries,” Taylor said.
By the end of Tuesday morning, King Cash Saver had donated the two cases of hot dogs and 200 hot dog buns for the event, in addition to two $50 gift certificates for families to win.
“We’ve got tons of community partners,” Taylor said, naming numerous businesses and organizations. “And Mitch Rolls and the girl’s basketball team is going to be out there volunteering. It’s going to be a fun day.”
In December 2018, Communities in Schools organized a free holiday haircuts event, allowing Parsons High School students to get a free haircut just before leaving for the winter holiday. More than 30 students attended and received haircuts from the two stylists who volunteered their time.
Now CIS is reaching out to students of all ages across the county.
“This year we’ve already secured six hair stylists,” said Taylor of the Haircuts & Hot dogs event. “We’re probably going to need more once this goes out. I don’t know what this is going to morph into.
“It’s a simple thing. Maybe a kid can’t afford to get a haircut, but you know. We want to try to positively influence our families and our kids. Start the school year off on a positive note and just give something back. We want to try to touch communities anyway we can. That’s what we do. We bring partners in to do things like this to try to benefit the communities and the kids we serve.”
Sign up for hair cuts is required and can be done now through Aug. 22 at the Labette Emergency Assistance Center, Parsons Recreation Commission, Labette Center for Mental Health, Community Health Center for Southeast Kansas.