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Overtime - Press Release

YMCA partners with Urban Restoration to distribute book bags

Helping kids start school with the tools needed to find success

August 9, 2010

CHARLOTTE, NC August 9, 2010Two thousand book bags filled with donated school supplies will be distributed at the Stratford Richardson YMCA on Saturday, August 14 from 10am-3pm as part of Pursue Learning All Year (P.L.A.Y.). P.L.A.Y. is a free event promoting literacy and celebrating the start of school with activities for kids and educational resources for parents.

The P.L.A.Y. event is provided by the Stratford Richardson and Gateway Village YMCAs along with The Urban Restoration, a non-profit ministry that has served Charlottes at risk youth since 1993 through social service and counseling for families, as well as programming for children and teens.

P.L.A.Y. is an opportunity to help families kick-off the academic year by taking care of their school needs, says Gateway Village YMCA Board Member Kevin Seel. The event also lives into the Christian values of both the Y and The Urban Restoration. Special guest Anthony Morrow, NBA athlete for the New Jersey Nets, will attend P.L.A.Y. to help distribute the bags and supplies to the West Boulevard community where he spent his childhood. I take great pride in giving back to the community where I grew up, says Morrow. Ive always admired and appreciated people who do the same thing to give back to the community.
P.L.A.Y. is the blend of three formerly separate community events - Book Bash and Celebration of Friends (both sponsored by the YMCA of Greater Charlotte) and Community Education and Empowerment Day (CEED) hosted by The Urban Restoration. By combining the three events, organizers hope to reach out to more children and families and have greater impact in one focused event. Partnerships like these are just what children need to grow and realize their full potential, says Colin Pinkney, Executive Director of The Urban Restoration. Anthony Morrow is a great role model for young people and our community because he is an example of what it means to live your dreams and to use your gifts to support others.

Onsite activities include:

  • Live Music & Entertainment
  • Face Painting & Balloon Artists
  • Arts & Crafts Activities
  • Health & Wellness Education
  • Youth Sports
  • Parent University & Education Resources
  • Free Haircuts
  • Food & Beverages

About Book Bash, Celebration of Friends and CEED
Book Bash, hosted by the Gateway Village YMCA for eight years, promoted literacy and school readiness. In 2009, one thousand book bags filled with school supplies were distributed to local children in need. Celebration of Friends, a Stratford Richardson YMCA event, was a day of family fun and entertainment that signified the Ys commitment to providing critical programs to Charlottes West Boulevard corridor. Urban Restorations CEED has also targeted at risk students in the West Boulevard Corridor for the past four years through a celebration for kids and education seminars for parents.

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