Montgomery Co. back-to-school fair returns after 4 year hiatus

Students and parents are seen at the Montgomery County Public Schools “back-to-school fair” on Saturday at the Wheaton Mall. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Students and parents are seen at the Montgomery County Public Schools “back-to-school fair” on Saturday at the Wheaton Mall. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Students and parents are seen at the Montgomery County Public Schools “back-to-school fair” on Saturday at the Wheaton Mall. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
Students and parents are seen at the Montgomery County Public Schools “back-to-school fair” on Saturday at the Wheaton Mall. (WTOP/Melissa Howell)
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School begins next month in Montgomery County and on Saturday, the school district brought back their back-to-school fair for the first time in four years.

This year, it was held at the Westfield Wheaton Mall.

“We thought that parents could take care of two things on their list, learn about the school system and also take care of their back to school shopping,” said Gboyinde Onijala, spokeswoman for the Montgomery County school district.

Free shuttle buses from six high schools and the MCPS central office were made available to families to ensure everyone had access to the event. The resource fair offered free educational activities as well as free health screenings and immunizations for students in grade 7-12. Kaiser Permanente also offered free adult screenings in the Sears parking lot.

“Our partners at the Department of Health and Human Services are here today offering free immunizations … because you can’t start school without your records being complete,” added Onijala.

The health screenings brought Terey Copeland and her kids out as they prepare for the school year after moving here from California.

“We came out to get vaccinations and information about the county. There’s a lot of vendors out here, every square inch is packed at this mall,” said Copeland.

Nina Balser and her two sons just relocated to the county from El Paso, Texas. She says the fair has been a major help with sorting out the school year.

“There’s stuff everywhere, I’ve only made it halfway through and I’ve got a stack of stuff from outdoor recreation and reading programs, so just a lot of information,” said Balser.

Families still in need of resources for the school year are encouraged to contact the county’s central office or their school.

Classes in Montgomery County begin Sept. 3.

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