CPHS event helps families trim back-to-school costs

Bob the Barber gives Garrett Thomas a back-to-school trim. Thomas, an incoming 6th grader at Jackson Middle School, was one of many who received the benefits of free hair services donated by numerous merchants including Kiddo Klips and Great Clips. (Photo by Mindy Mateuszczyk)

Before the doors opened at 10 a.m., there was a line out the door waiting for the free backpacks and school supplies offered at Champlin Park High School during their second annual back-to-school event. In addition to offering 250 students in need backpacks filled with supplies, free haircuts, clothing donated from the lost and found as well as other community organizations, free notebooks and other supplies were available.

Service organizations set up booths offering everything from a variety of resources and information to free lifeline cell phones.

According to Amy Harnack, who was involved in organizing the event, local merchants donated food to the volunteers, hair stylists donated their time and a Walmart grant funded the purchase of some of the school supplies.

“It was basically a free day for us,” said Harnack of the cost to put the event together. “There are so many expenses that come this time of year and we just want to be able to take the edge off the back-to-school costs.”

The district continues to make strides in working with homeless youth and struggling families by providing a number of resources including food shelves at many schools including at Champlin Park High School and Jackson Middle School. Individuals struggling with these issues seeking support may contact Karrie Schaaf, Anoka-Hennepin School District’s homeless youth and families liaison at 763-433-4695.