Back to School Outreach Packs FAMU's Lawson Center

Aug 13, 2018

Two days before the start of the new class year, Tallahassee's yearly Back to School Outreach was helping more than a thousand students get ready on Saturday.

Students jam the mezzanine level of FAMU's Lawson Center to check out various vendors and information booths.
Credit Tom Flanigan

This year's event moved from the often steamy North Florida Fairgrounds to the air-conditioned comfort of FAMU's Lawson Center. The outreach is hosted by the Jacob Chapel Baptist Church, where the Reverend O. Germaine Simmons is pastor.

"We intentionally go about this effort each and every year so we can give people something that they may not have a chance to get otherwise. So we want to be a ministry in this community. That's what we're doing," Simmons explained.

Besides the free school supplies, haircuts, hair braiding, food and fun, young people could also learn about mentorship programs, like the Kingsman Club run by Marvin Boatman.

"So we're trying to find different activities for them to do to keep them out of trouble, different events to keep them motivated and stimulated; so that's what we're doing with the Kingsman Club, just trying to make them a better person."