Photo by Heather Middleton
By Kathy Jefcoats
The Clayton County Police Department is co-hosting a back-to-school bash today, and the Clayton County Sheriff's Office is co-sponsoring a Back to School Safety Jam tomorrow.
Friday's event will be held 2 p.m., to 5 p.m. at Jim Huie Recreation Center at 9045 Tara Blvd. in Jonesboro. Hosts include Clayton Police Chief Greg Porter and Amerigroup Community Care.
Free back-to-school supplies will be given to the first 100 people. There will be a live remote from V-103 radio, free health screenings, entertainment, games and activities.
Saturday's Jam includes special appearances by the Greater Atlanta Chapter of the Buffalo Soldiers, representing two historic fighting units made up of black soldiers.
Clayton County Sheriff Kem Kimbrough said the event is designed to take the anxiety out of the start of a new school year for parents and their children in kindergarten through high school.
The Jam is set for Saturday, Aug. 6, from noon, until 5 p.m.
Free Masons of Georgia will provide a free identification kit to parents who accompany their children to the event. The kit includes the child's photograph, fingerprints, DNA and other pertinent information that can be used in case of an emergency.
"There is no greater fear for a parent than the moment something happens to a child," said Robert J. Ford, a special agent with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and president of the Georgia Chapter of NOBLE.
Local, state and federal public safety agencies are expected to attend. Donated school supplies will also be distributed while they last.
Families will also be treated to special demonstrations by the Greater Atlanta Chapter of Buffalo Soldiers. The chapter carries on the tradition of the 9th and 10th Cavalry, nicknamed Buffalo Soldiers by the Cheyenne and Comanche Indians.
U.S. Congress passed legislation in July 1866 establishing two cavalry and four infantry regiments, made up entirely of black soldiers. Until the early 1890s, the soldiers made up 20 percent of all cavalry forces on the American frontier.
The cavalry also provided protection for crews building railroads against outlaws and hostile Indians.
Modern-day Buffalo Soldiers are portrayed by men and women in a variety of professions, including law enforcement and teaching. The volunteers work to maintain the proud history and more than 140 years of legacy of the original soldiers.