Students will be lifted from their summer lulls when a challenge to “believe, achieve, succeed” is sprinkled in with fun and games at this weekend’s back-to-school rally.
Project Reach G.A.N.G., or God’s Anointed Now Generation, is in its 13th year sponsoring the rally, which will be from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday at the Briar Bay Park in Riceboro.
“We want not only our youth but everyone to believe in themselves and achieve goals such as getting a higher GPA or passing the CRCT,” Executive Director Lavonia LeCounte said. “We want them to succeed in everything that they’re doing — education, mentally, physically.”
The purpose of the event is to get parents and children excited about the upcoming school year, which begins Aug. 4 in Liberty County. It also serves as an inspiration for people who may not have finished high school or reached their full education potential, she said.
Liberty County Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Leah Poole, who has attended the rally since the year after it started, said the event offers parents a chance to stock up on the items they need and cannot always afford while giving children a chance for summer fun.
In keeping with tradition, school supplies and about 400 backpacks will be given away, and about 50 community organizations and businesses will be on hand to showcase student resources from tutoring to health care.
LeCounte anticipates 1,200 people will turn out for the event, which offers a 45-minute motivational rally program followed by a day of hands-on activities and free lunch.
“We want to give back to our community, so we want everyone to come out,” she said.
LeCounte encourages attendees to dress for the outdoors and take precautions against heat and the sun.
The YMCA will host Olympics-inspired games, and there will be a waterslide for children to use, so parents should bring a towel and a change of clothes, she said.
The group also will host a concert with performances by Atlanta Christian singer Tasha Cobb, FOCUS of Charleston and local children’s choirs at 6 p.m. Sunday at Full Gospel Tabernacle Church of God in Christ, 809 Frank Cochran Drive in Hinesville.
Advance tickets for the concert — $5 for children ages 4-11 and $10 for children ages 12 and older — are available at the WGML radio station, TOP Christian Bookstore and New Image Barber Shop No. 1 in Hinesville. They also will be available at the rally.
Tickets will be available for purchase at the door — $7 for children ages 4-11 and $12 for children ages 12 and older. Admission is free for children 3 and younger.