Organizers of the Moniteau County Back to School Fair are expecting a big increase in attendance at the fourth-annual event.
The fair, sponsored by Co-Mo Electric, the Moniteau County Health Center, Central Bank and other Moniteau County businesses, schools and organizations, is for any child educated in Moniteau County, regardless of family income. It is put on by the Moniteau County Alliance for Kids with the goal of giving every registered child no-cost health screenings to uncover any medical issues that might hinder learning and a backpack filled with school- and grade-specific supplies.
Registration for the fair - which runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 27, at California High School - is up nearly 50 percent over 2012 attendance, said John Agliata, Co-Mo Electric's Communications Manager and the Alliance Board President.
"The fantastic news is that this increase is across the board from all the schools in Moniteau County," he said. "Our goal is for this to be a truly "county' event and to break down some of those walls that sometimes divide our communities. That's happening."
Agliata said that, as of the July 1 deadline, registrations from each school are up over 2012 attendance as follows: California: +27 percent; Clarksburg: +100 percent; High Point: +50 percent; Jamestown: +140 percent; Latham: +44 percent; Tipton: +53 percent; St. Andrews: +233 percent.
More than 420 students have registered for the fair. Organizers are in the process of purchasing supplies with which to fill the backpacks.
"Fundraising has been solid," Agliata said. "We're so appreciative of how the community has supported us."
The Alliance is still accepting donations, which can be sent to the Moniteau County Alliance for Kids at P.O. Box 220, Tipton, MO 65081.
"The more donations we receive, the more we can purchase from the teachers' supply lists. All the money we raise goes directly into serving the kids. We have no other costs," Agliata said.
Board Vice President Jennifer Prey said there will be an extremely limited number of backpacks for those who haven't registered. Those will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Medical screenings will be available to unregistered children even after those backpacks are gone.
"If you haven't registered, there's a good chance there won't be a backpack for your child, but there will still be a host of other things to do beyond the medical screenings," Prey said.
That includes visits from the Tipton High School drum line and a station to stop by and say hi to Santa Claus. Co-Mo Electric Cooperative will be bringing its bucket trucks to give high-flying rides to children and adults alike.
"The event is just a fun time. It's great to see kids who might not have seen their classmates all summer get reconnected. There's so much to do, and it provides a great service to parents," Agliata said. "It's something we all are so proud to be a part of."
For more information about the fair, visit Facebook.com/mointeauBTSFair, or call Agliata at 800- 781-0157.