Large oak trees provided much needed shade at the 19th Annual Back to School Rally at Briar Bay Park.
Soft breezes swept through the crowd throughout the event Saturday hosted by Project Reach GANG (God’s Anointed Now Generation).
Liberty County Board of Education member Verdell Jones was the emcee, a role she’s filled for all but two years since the event began.
Channie Frazier, former Project Reach member, welcomed everyone.
Frazier is the 2017 Georgia Pre-K Teacher of the Year and Lead Teacher of the Year at Kid’s World Learning Center in Statesboro.
There were songs from Project Reach, and greetings from Riceboro Mayor Bill Austin, city council member Tommie Williams and Liberty BOE Chair Lily Baker.
Baker gave interim Liberty County School System Superintendent Dr. Franklin Perry an opportunity to greet everyone.
“Public education, as you know, is under attack. I firmly believe public education is the only way to make our society what it should be and give every child an opportunity to succeed,” Perry said. “So we must continue to show support.”
Liberty County Board of Commissioners Chairman Donald Lovette warned kids in attendance to stay away from gangs, and cited gang issues in Savannah as an example saying, “I don’t want it to come here.”
Liberty County Sheriff Steve Sikes was also in attendance.
“It’s our purpose on this earth to steer every young man and woman to God’s purpose,” Sikes said. “We as a community can make a difference in our children.”
Liberty Emergency Management Agency Deputy Director Larry Logan talked about attending school.
“Everybody cannot be an A student, but everybody can attend class every day if you’re able to,” Logan said. “So my challenge to you is be there, not only sitting, but be there in mind, consciously, listening and learning.”