Block party at Liberty Center returning for second year to celebrate return to school

Big crowds are expected at the second annual Back to School Block Party at Liberty Center, a free, one-stop-shop event that offers everything from dental checks and vision screening to haircuts and a petting zoo.

It’s an eclectic offering of services organized by Cincinnati Children’s Liberty Advisory Committee and made possible by 26 local partners. The party runs from 2-4 p.m. on Aug. 4, in the park, the square and Sabin Hall at Liberty Center.

Michelle Hopkins, senior specialist in community relations with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, said they had about 500 attendees at the inaugural event last year and they expect an even bigger crowd this year. About 15 partners participated in the event last year so there are many more offerings.

RELATED: Changes coming to school funding, testing, vouchers, who can teach

Hopkins said they have found a way to partner in a way that really benefits the community.

“We are really pleased to be able to reach out to the community and really bring some benefit to the community, outside of what we all do,” Hopkins said. “So you come together in a way that makes one plus one equal five. That’s the kind of thing we want to do with this event.”

Parents can get their kids haircut by stylists from Salon 747, Primary Health Solutions will have its dental van on-site, the hospital is offering vision screenings and information on health and nutrition and the local chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness will be on hand with mental illness information, to name a few.

Entertainment is also a big part of the day with MetroParks bringing a petting zoo, Mother Teresa’s robotics team, balloon artists and face painting, Fitton Center for the Arts will have arts and crafts for the kids, that list goes on and on too.

In the spirit of back to school the hospital is giving away 100 book bags, five bike helmets, Kroger will have 75 goody bags and there will be other raffles and give-aways. Attendees can benefit the community themselves by bringing school supplies for Reach Out Lakota.

Besty Fuller, director of school/community relations for the Lakota Schools, said this is a wonderful event.

“The Back To School Block Party at Liberty Center is a great way to get kids excited about the start of a new school year. We’re counting down the days until our students return to our schools,” she said. “Cincinnati Children’s Liberty Advisory Committee has done a fantastic job planning this event. We hope our families are able to attend and take advantage of the many activities that will be offered.”

List of all the partners for the Back to School Block Party:

• Cincinnati Children’s: 100 Book Bags, 4 Kroger/Target gift cards, 5 Bike Helmets, Physical Fitness Activity, Better Health and Nutrition demo and info, Vision Screens

• Liberty Center: Tables, balloon artists, face painting, live music, DJ, Sabin

• West Chester Chamber Alliance: Kids Korner Store

• Liberty Township: SWAT team and vehicle, Fire Truck, Sheriffs vehicle, land use survey

• Edge Teen Center: Temporary tattoos, hair streaks, info on new teen center, sleep benefit info

• Metro Parks: Petting zoo including snakes, turtles, frogs, chickens, bunnies

• Mother Teresa: Robots and the Robotic team from the school, foursome of golf at Mother Teresa golf outing

• Leadership 21 Class project: Collecting/drop off of school supplies for “Reach Out Lakota”

• Midpointe Library: Bookmobile and info on branch locations

• Lakota Sports Organization: Soccer and baseball demo

• Boys and Girls Club: Information on the center and other TBD

• Primary Health Solutions: Dental Van, pedestrian safety lights giveaway

• Lakota Schools Partnerships: Real life experience - internships

• Butler County Visitors Bureau: Information on Butler County attractions

• Lakota YMCA: Cornhole and raffle item

• Buckner Martial Arts: Demo and information

• Fitton Center for the Arts: Arts and Crafts activities for children

• Young Professionals: Providing 26 volunteers, way finders, traffic flow, etc.

• NAMI: Mental Health information

• Focus on Youth: Snow Cones, foster parent information

• I Fly: STEAM interactive display and raffle items

• Reach Out Lakota: Information on the charity

• Peoples Bank: Arts for kids, piggy bank giveaway and surprise donation

• Salon 747: Haircuts for kids

• Fredric’s Aveda School: Goodie Bags

• Kroger: 75 lunch bags filled with goodies

About the Author