Organizers planning fifth-annual Moniteau County Back to School Fair

The fifth-annual Moniteau County Back to School Fair has been set for July 26.

The Board of Directors for the Moniteau County Alliance for Kids met Feb. 12 to solidify plans for the event, which once again includes no-cost school supplies and health screenings for all children educated in the county, regardless of income level.

Registration is mandatory for those interested in attending. Registration forms can be found at the fair’s Facebook page, at Co-Mo Electric Cooperative’s Tipton headquarters, and at the Moniteau County Health Center in California. Forms are also going to be dropped off at each Moniteau County school in the hope they will be sent home with each child.

The fair, which runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., is for children entering kindergarten through 12th grade for the 2014-15 school year.

“This is truly a community event, and when I say ‘community,’ I mean the entire Moniteau County community, regardless of family income," said John Agliata, president of the Alliance’s board and communications manager for Co-Mo Electric Cooperative. "We love that this fair breaks down those little city silos that we can fall into.”

The fair was started in 2010 by a group of business and community leaders. Last year a core group of supporters formed into a 501(c)(3) charity, making donations to the Alliance tax deductible.

“We rely on those donations," Agiliata said. "Every cent goes right back into the fair. We couldn’t do this without the generosity of the community.”

Donations can be sent to the Alliance at P.O. Box 220, Tipton, MO., 65081.

The Moniteau County Health Center is once again coordinating the health fair for the event. Students who register are able to receive necessary medical screenings, including vision, hearing, blood pressure and more.

“That’s been part of the mission since we started,” said Andrea Kincaid, administrator for the Health Center. “The goal is to send kids back to school with no undiagnosed medical issues that would hamper learning.”

Beyond the school supplies, which students receive in a free backpack after completing the health screenings, the fair focuses on fun. For the second year in a row, Santa Claus will be available to hear mid-year reports on local children.

“It was so cool seeing kids’ eyes light up when they caught sight of Santa last year,” Agliata said. “These kids must be pretty special for Santa to make a trip all the way from the North Pole down to Moniteau County in the middle of a humid Missouri summer.”

Other entertainment is currently being planned and will be announced closer to the event.

For more information about the fair, contact Agliata at 800-781-0157 or jagliata@co-mo.coop.

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