Parents and children gather at The Bridge community center for back to school

JOHNSON CITY (WBNG) — On Saturday, Sept. 3, families enjoyed food, music, free haircuts and games at Bridge Community Center’s “Back To School Bash.”

The event was organized by Calvary’s Love Church.

Youth co-director Keon Kitchner said the church’s goal is to provide love and support to the community.

“I think the most important thing is that you want the people you love and serve to really know that you love them,” Kitchner said.

He said the purpose of the party was to get students excited about the school year. It also served as a kick-off party to let the community know that the center’s after-school program is open for the school year.

“We don’t want to just sit in this building,” he said. “We want to be on the street, we want to love our people and we want to open it up to anyone who wants to come and have a good time.”

Co-director of youth, Tara Terry, is a mother herself and knows the difficulty of preparing children for school.

“We just wanted to make sure we’re supporting the families and making sure they feel prepared for whatever they’re facing,” Terry said.

Terry hopes to run a cohesive after-school program on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4-6 p.m., while giving students the chance to learn different skills.

“We are looking for different ways to partner with the community to ensure there is life change in children who are ready for it, and to promote the well-being and growth of everyone who walks through the door,” Terry said.

She said she hopes to provide additional resources and support to the community by coordinating with other organizations, which may need the space at the center for events.