NAACP Back-to-School Celebration a Huge Success

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Students and parents line up for the start of the NAACP Back-to-School Celebration to kick-off the 2022-2023 school year. The annual event is to promote school success and provide essential school supplies for Albion students.


Albion students had a great start to the school year with the local NAACP-sponsored Back-to-School Celebration at Harrington School. Cosponsoring were Albion Community Foundation, Albion’s Big Read, Play Right Sports Academy, and Orchards Children’s Services.

About 400 attendees celebrated the new 2022-23 school year in an outdoor event. This year over 140 parents or guardians participated in the celebration aimed at school readiness. Over 215 students received supply-filled backpacks along with grade-specific supplies. The event was open to all Albion students.

NAACP Education Committee Chair Mae Ola Dunklin said, “We are very aware of the struggles schools are enduring because of various obstacles, including teacher and staff shortages.  By having necessary supplies in our students’ hands, we hope to encourage and motivate them always to work hard and come to the classroom prepared to work.”

Dunklin stated that the event was also designed to support the Harrington teachers as they began their new year. Dunklin said the celebration would not have been a success without the support of so many organizations and individuals. She stated that there were many partners at this year’s event.

COVID vaccinations, childhood immunizations, children’s health screenings, and family health information displays were on-site. Health and wellness partners include the Calhoun County Health Department, Grace Health, Summit Pointe, CareWell Services,  Albion Health Care Alliance, Battle Creek YMCA, Fountain Clinic, Community Gardens, and Albion Interfaith Ministries.

More partners included Forks Senior Center, Albion Scouting-Cub Scouts, Albion Sister City, Fritz Schumer Center for Teacher Development, Alpha Kappa Sorority Psi Kappa Omega Chapter, Head Start, Innovate Albion, Spicer-Williams Foundation, South Central Michigan Food Bank, Albion Department of Public Safety, Neighborhood One of Battle Creek, Bohm Theatre, Albion District Library, American Association of University Women, Albion First United Methodist Church, Caring Community Church, Ludington Center, First Baptist Church, Albion Fellows, Kellogg Community College, Harrington’s Parent Organization and individual volunteers.

As a surprise the Albion College football team attended the event and interacted with students and the family-centered celebration.

The NAACP Education Committee coordinated the annual event under the leadership of Mae Ola Dunklin. Members are Jessica Kane, Nels Christiansen, Jess Roberts, Bernice Wyrick, Eddie Williams, Kay Knight, Vivian Davis, Keena Williams, Hazel Lias and Linda Kolmodin.