Ready, Set, Go! 

The Lethbridge Back to School Fair

WHY A BACK TO SCHOOL FAIR?

Back to school is a high stress time for children, youth and families. The additional financial pressure is often too much for some families to manage; consequently, children start school without the necessities for learning.  Items such as backpacks, school supplies, clothing and haircuts are essential for school readiness as well as to foster social inclusion. Being properly equipped on the first day of school excites children to learn and assists them in developing peer acceptance, promoting positive self esteem.

ORIGINS

In its earliest stages, the fair was an idea brought to fruition by two individuals, Tracey Erickson-Driscoll and Desiree L'Heureux, with the support of the organizations they serve. This partnership expanded to include the Holy Spirit School District and Alberta Health Services.  The fair was designed as a way to be proactive, having those in need equipped on the first day rather than waiting until teachers identified students as not having supplies within the first week of school. Modeled on the success of the Homeless Connect, the Ready, Set, Go! fair was developed as a cost effective way to get grade/age/school specific supplies to each student. This was a collaborative project with other “Back to School” initiatives to ensure there was not a duplication of services. The fair is now guided by a committee made up of community partners including the Salvation Army, Interfaith Foodbank, and Lethbridge Foodbank. 

   

PARTNERSHIPS

The Ready, Set, Go! fair is not just about getting children and youth school supplies, it is also about community connections. Many community partners sit on the Ready, Set, Go! Committee and over 40 community agencies and service providers attend the event. Services offered at the fair by community partners have included back to school shoes, dental hygiene information, vision screening, nutrition education, immunizations, literacy programs, children’s activities, family pictures, subsidy information, and complimentary lunch. Several local community partners contribute to the fair through sponsorship and in-kind support. Partners like Daytona Homes, TELUS, the Kinsmen Club of Lethbridge, and the United Way provide core funding and in-kind support for the event, while partners like First Choice Savings, Scotiabank and the Knights of Columbus, as well as countless volunteers, contribute to make the event possible. 

 

HOW CAN MY BUSINESS GET INVOLVED?

Healthy communities create thriving economies. The back-to-school fair is a meaningful opportunity for your business to be part of a growing community partnership that makes an impact on families each year. Get brand exposure by sponsoring back-to-school essentials for children and youth: not only is your investment amplified through the buying power of the partnership, but your sponsorship is helping families stretch their budget and better prepare kids for school. 

We are looking for sponsors and community partners to support the school-readiness fair in Lethbridge. It takes a lot of coordination to make these events happen and we are so thankful for the volunteers and businesses that are able to come forward. 

Consider sponsoring necessities for the Lethbridge back-to-school fair. Donors can provide gifts of any size, or claim one of the sponsorship opportunities listed below. Sponsors will be recognized for making back-to-school an easier transition for kids and families in Southern Alberta. 

Lethbridge Ready Set Go - Sponsorship Items

$7500: Backpack Sponsor
$5000: Teen Hygiene Kits Sponsor
$4000: School Snacks Sponsor
$3500: Lunch Bag Sponsor 

If you or your business or agency would like to donate funds, sponsor school supplies, or gift services, connect with Tracey Erickson-Driscoll at Tracey.Erickson-Driscoll@lethsd.ab.ca or 403-380-5382.

FEEDBACK

“Just wanted to say thank you for all your and I'm sure many others hard work. My kids were so excited to get such nice back packs and it really helped my stress levels to not have worry about the financial burden of purchasing school supplies while my husband is unemployed. From our family to all who helped-Thank you!!!”

“Today was a very awesome day. My kids were very excited - more than they thought. Also, I was very impressed by what the fair today provided. Thank you so much for your work and kindness.”